Brazilian Books, Beats, & Booze

Ponte Estaiada, São Paulo, Brazil by Marcos Leal used under Creative Commons.
Ponte Estaiada, São Paulo, Brazil by Marcos Leal used under Creative Commons.

There are always interesting events to attend in L.A. Book signings, art openings, good DJs spinning cool music, cocktail parties. They’re everywhere. Rarely do you find them all in one place, though.

The event that will gather all of those elements together, the one I’m most looking forward to this weekend, is the release party for a great new travel guide by Phoung-Cac Nguyen.

Follow me past the jump for more about “Total São Paulo,” art, and music. Did I mention complimentary cocktails?

Saturday afternoon the Carmichael Gallery in West Hollywood will host a launch party and book signing for “Total São Paulo: A Guide To The Unexpected.” I had a chance to preview the book, and it is terrific.

I love to travel all over the world, but travel guides usually bore me to death. Great if you need to find the cleanest/safest youth hostel in Budapest, but they don’t really give you the feel of a place. Even if I never go to Brazil, “Total São Paulo” was like a local friend showing me all of the best spots. It’s packed with gorgeous photos on every page, and points out favorite cafes and bars, galleries and boutiques, and even the best vinyl record shops.

I said this is a party, right? While Nguyen is signing her book, the gallery is also showing a new solo exhibition by Brazilian artist Thais Beltrame. DJ Marlon Fuentes will be spinning classic Brazilian artists mixed with hip hop beats.  São Paulo native Andrea Ferraz will sing bossa nova accompanied by Fuentes on percussion. Capoeira Brasil-Los Angeles will demonstrate capoeira’s (Brazilian martial art) high-flying kicks.

And Leblon Cachaça will provide complimentary caipirinhas, Brazil’s national cocktail.

[Side note: Brazil has a Minister of Culture (formerly Gilberto Gil) and a national cocktail. Why are we lagging in these areas, people?]

So, come out and meet me at the best party this weekend. I’ll be the guy with a caipirinha in one hand and my passport in the other, practicing toasting in Portuguese.

What: Launch party for “Total São Paulo: A Guide To The Unexpected,” by Phoung-Cac Nguyen.
Where: Carmichael Gallery of Contempory Art, 1257 North La Brea Avenue, West Hollywood
When: Saturday, 9 May 2009, 3:00pm-7:00pm. (It’s early, so you have the evening to continue the party.)

I’ll see you there. Saúde! (Cheers!)