National Geographic : 1955 Mar
328 © Leopold Fiedler, Black Star Stand-up Coffee Bar, a Brazilian Institution, Offers Businessmen a Quick Pickup Brazil produces nearly half the world's coffee. Despite such abundance, the price in Rio doubled recently. These Sao Paulo men half-fill cups with sugar from the metal canisters (page 312). ponents of the macumba rites, carried out in the recesses of the more remote favelas. Special sessions, sometimes organized for the tourist, should be viewed with skepticism, since they will be diluted, tame imitations of real macumba. If, however, the visitor is in Rio over New Year's Eve, he should stroll down late at night to Ipanema or Leblon, the lovely beaches south of Copacabana. With a little luck he will see the poetical homage paid to Yemanja, goddess of the waters. Black priestesses, clad in flowing white robes, walk to the edge of the sea to cast flowers upon the waves. Yet Rio has three universities, plus a mu nicipal law school, and it is difficult to find in any other city a more sophisticated, re fined society, more closely integrated in the crosscurrents of Western civilization. Construction Goes On Day and Night In Rio some 16 buildings are completed every 24 hours. The electric saw in one going up a few doors away may dog your sleep through the night, for construction crews often work in three 8-hour shifts. On the other hand, you can live in a house only 10 minutes removed from the horse-racing crowds at the track by the Rodrigo de Lagoon, with the tropical forest all you, and spend a good deal of your time just deciding what kinds of should be grown in the garden. Freitas around leisure orchids Old City's Accent Is on Youth Of one thing you may be sure. If you are young in years, or young at heart, the enchant ment of Rio will grip you. The city will often prove exasperating and frustrating, but finally you will succumb to its charm, its pervading vitality, and its accent on youth. Three-fourths of Rio's population is under 40; indeed, the visitor gets the impression that streets and parks are turned over to young couples and to children. Lovers are every where. With the possible exception of Paris, nowhere else does one see so many couples kissing in public. And, as in most Latin countries, kissing is not limited to lovers. As to children, they are treated with un failing kindness and a very special considera tion, given the best the parents can-and sometimes cannot-afford. It is difficult not to love a city that is burst ing with such vitality and that believes so strongly in sweethearts and children.