Photos Illustrating Farewell Rio, Chapter 5

Page 55.  “Some cariocas — natives of Rio — would not wait for the three days of happiness to begin. For them, the first steps of the season would be danced at the Artists’ Ball, beginning in a few hours at the Hotel Gloria. And next Saturday, before the official launch of Carnival, the Rio Yacht Club would hold its exclusive Hawaiian Night. Invitations were brokered and fussed over months in advance.”

[Hotel Gloria from Avenida Beira Mar]

[Yacht Club, Rio de Janeiro]

Page 56.  “Preparations for the annual rite had begun in late December. I became aware of them when I first heard the gentle throb of drums coming from the favela perched precariously on the hill behind David Jr.’s apartment. The compelling beat mingled with the ordinary sounds of the city at work. At night the drums grew louder and voices were added.   A fast-paced chanting in a hypnotic, nasal singsong broke into my meditations.”

[Google Earth view showing the Copacabana Palace Hotel in the foreground, with Favela Babilonia perched on the hill behind it and Sugarloaf Mountain in the background.]


Page 59.  “I took a bus to the public hospital, Miguel Couto, in Gávea, where I had taken Nelson Claudio. I got off too soon and had to walk three blocks to the hospital. As I approached the building I saw an ambulance driving slowly into a secluded rear entryway, followed closely by two police cars. I thought it odd that the ambulance didn’t pull up to the emergency entrance.”

[Municipal Hospital Miguel Couto]

Page 59.  “I was on my way out of the hospital when I noticed a commotion in a corridor just off the main entrance. Two uniformed policemen were conferring with a group of white-coated hospital staff. It was still early and I had no definite plans for the day. I stopped to listen. The cops were describing the condition of a body they had found in the Botanical Garden.  I overheard one of the cops say a pedestrian, an older woman, had informed him that a man dressed in ordinary street clothes was sleeping on top of some exotic plants near the entrance. The woman said she walked there every day and knew that all the plants and trees in the Botanical Garden were protected by law and that he should sleep it off somewhere else. Then a maintenance worker rushed out of the garden with very much the same story.”

[The Botanical Garden, near Hospital Miguel Couto.]

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