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What do you do after you get off of a 10.5 hour flight back from Brazil (aside from sleeping really well last night)? Share pictures, of course. There were two stages to our five day trip, a side trip to Rio to see some nature and color, and then a three day stay in São Paulo, where I spoke at an event put together by Casa e Jardim, Brazil's leading shelter magazine. Here's the Rio part.

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Arriving in Brazil

Why Brazil, you may ask? Good question, and one that I, too, had when I originally received the invitation to go there. It turns out that unlike many other parts of the world that were crippled (and continue to be) by the subprime mess of 2008-9, Brazil has been growing quickly. As a self-involved New Yorker, I did not know this.

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The view of Ipanema beach from our hotel in Rio

"In 2009 Brazil did emerge as the eighth largest economy in the world, and its accelerated economic growth is expected to continue into the next decades. According to a study released in January 2010 by PriceWaterhouseCoopers... Brazil is likely to become the fifth biggest global economy by 2025." - Proof

While there is still a tremendous gap between the rich and poor in Brazil, with very little middle class, things are changing.

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Front desk at Hotel Fasano. The entire desk is on slice of a large tree.

In particular, the magazine industry, which has been terribly hurt during the past few years, has been flourishing in Brazil as living standards have risen, and it is notable that Condé Nast just initiated a joint publishing venture with Casa e Jardim's parent company, Globo, to publish their titles in Brazil.

Magazines are booming in Brazil.

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Add to this that Brazil's online presence is growing. They are the fifth largest group of readers of Apartment Therapy outside the United States and the third largest non-English speaking audience behind Germany and France.

Are you starting to get the picture?

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Front lobby at The Fasano, which was entirely designed by Philippe Starck

Brazil is a really, really large country that is hungry for just the type of improvement that Apartment Therapy offers, and they were curious enough to fly Sara and myself down there last week.

Places we visited and recommend:

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Lobby lounge at The Fasano
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Every room floor has this hallway - pure STARCK.
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Our bedroom, which faced the water. Note the ear-like mirrors....
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Our bedroom closeup with woo-woo lamp.
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Bathroom at Fasano with solid slab of stone lit from below. The entire sink is a flat slab. There is no "sinkness" to this!
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Sunset along Ipanema from the roof of The Fasano. It's winter there.
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Heading up the hill in Santa Teresa, Rio
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There are Volkswagens EVERYWHERE. Santa Teresa
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Santa Teresa
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Santa Teresa
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Restaurante Aprazível, Santa Teresa
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Restaurante Aprazível, Santa Teresa
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Restaurante Aprazível, Santa Teresa