Paulista Avenue: A Stage For Us

Sunday morning, Paulista is closed for cars and open to people. Come to know some stories that are part of this show

Who knows Paulista will agree with me: it’s a surprise box.  Every visit is a new good story, something interesting that you couldn’t expect. You can go there a million times and go back home amazed every time. Walking throw the avenue and meet different people from different places make us feel part of something bigger, as magnificent as the own city. And now, with the Rua Aberta Program, which opened the São Paulo’s main avenue for cyclists and pedestrians on Sunday, from 10 am to 19 pm, we’re able to know these stories through a new point of view: the middle of the street.

I visited Paulista Avenue in a Sunday afternoon, talked to some people and collected fascinating stories that represent a bit of its magic. After all, what make it so intriguing are the people who attend.

They know me by: Dillah!

15 pm, I just arrived. Leaving the Consolação Station, I decided to talk to one of the first street vendor that I met. I stopped to look the photos: all items from an imported LGBT collection (very good, by the way). The vendor, who the birth name is Edivaldo Antonio de Souza, has been working in front of the Safra Bank for six months, selling those rarities he gained from a friend's heritage.

Vinyl records, rare photographs by Gianni Versace and some books in English. He says his sales are mostly held for tourists, and he has had problems with oversight at his point of sale, mainly after the inauguration of the mayor João Doria. Currently, he is one of the few vendors who exposes his materials on the floor (usually not allowed).

Behind his funny glasses and seller sympathy, Edivaldo is also Dillah Dilluz, a Drag Queen, winner of the best video clip award “Hora do Gongo 2010”, with the clip “Travileirinho”. He’s also an actor (Edivaldo Barreto is his artistic name) and has already made several appearances in different jobs, as for example the film “Carandiru” (2003). Considering the difficulties of being a black actor in the country, Edivaldo needed to work as a street vendor to earn extra income, but he loves what he does. For him, the Rua Aberta Program is something positive and representative in a place as big as São Paulo. “Opening the Paulista on Sunday is a cultural stimulus. Besides being a space of leisure for the paulistanos, it is also great to slow down the stress that moves this city”. | Travileirinho - Dillah Dilluz | Carandiru - At the speed of light

Walking a little more, I found someone as interesting as Dillah/Edivaldo. His name is Koji Sato Junior, a painter who was selling unique pieces from a Ayrton Senna’s collection. According to Koji, all the photos and objects came from his mother’s stuff. After losing her, he found the collection and since he already had started selling things in Paulista 4 months ago, he decided to take it for sale in honor of Ayrton Senna's birthday, which would be on March 21.

Koji and his mother lived for several years in Japan, and his love for the Formula 1 runner came from there. He told me that, even being on the other side of the world, seeing Ayrton on his victories carrying the country flag was unmissable. "I learned what patriotic love was when I saw him representing my country, and even outside Brazil, it was a huge pride for me. I feel that love for the country and for what is national today is something that is turning away from people more and more”. Even so, when asked about the benefits of Paulista open on Sundays, Koji said that it is a great good for everyone, and that will bring people closer to this love for the culture that comes from within the country.


A little further on, I found a couple of friends right in front of MASP. What caught my attention was the sign they carried: "We came to know South America. Can you help us with a ticket?". I went talk to them, but the dialogue turned out to be a bit difficult - she could only speak fluent French, and he, Spanish. We ended up wrapping up a poorly finished Portuguese, and discovered that the girl's name was Lou, and the boy's name was Daniel. The two met during their backpacking and ended up joining forces - now, they sell chocolate and carrot cakes to pay for their next tickets and discover the world together. Their adventure, in fact, is already happening for a while: Lou, who was born in France, has been traveling for 5 months, and Daniel, an Argentine boy, is on this journey 2 years. After ate one of those cakes (which was delicious, by the way), we talked a little more, and they told me that Brazil is an incredible place, and that the experience of knowing the biggest avenue in the city of São Paulo in this way was unforgettable.

These are just a few stories, among many others that have Avenida Paulista as the main stage. To conclude, here are some photos of the main moments for you to enjoy and maybe for more pretty Casperians to be interested in visiting this place that is already our home on almost every day of the week, and when the headlights turn red, open space for an unknown and impressive universe.

"Wanna play? Just pick up a hula hoop! Don't forget contribuiting in the hat!"