My first night in the city was spent on the forty-second floor of the Edifício Itália, the second tallest building in the city, but the highest place in town to get a drink. Overcast as it was when we arrived, the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows was somewhat unremarkable, but as we finished our caiprinhas, the cloud began to lift and the city unfolded beneath us.
Brazil's politicians have two choices: either they can introduce a ban of which Brazil can be proud, standing shoulder to shoulder with the EU and India to become the first country in South America to end cosmetics cruelty, or they can pass bill PLC 70/2014 unchanged and risk Brazil lagging behind on the global stage...
The obvious waste of an ice-bucket dunking is in poor taste given that São Paulo is suffering a severe drought at present. In parts of the state, the reservoirs are dry and cracked and all non-essential water use is banned. Where I live things are not quite so bad, but the local papers warn week after week that we are also on the cusp of extreme rationing.
Sport, in its different forms, has consolidated its position as an important platform for stimulating tourism in recent years... the hospitality, joy and affection of Brazilians as one of the greatest differentials of the 2014 World Cup. It is no coincidence that many foreigners say they will recommend Brazil as a tourist destination to their family and friends.
When we asked people to give us advice about going to Brazil, everyone always mentioned Rio de Janeiro. Rio this, Rio that, just go to Rio. But no one really said much about São Paulo. It seemed like people didn't really go there much. As our cab weaved through traffic in São Paulo's city center, our virgin eyeballs take in the first impressions of this rarely recommended city.
Brazil have quite some way to go to attempt to make amends for this years world cup disaster. The 7-1 loss to Germany pretty much devalued every player on the pitch so badly that memes of Mourinho's hands full of cash and laughing hit the web insinuating his pleasure at selling off David Luiz pre World Cup.
Brazilians were promised winning the bid for the World Cup and Olympics wouldn't be at the financial detriment to the country. In fact, they were told the usual spiel about how it would actually benefit the country with the income both events would generate. But things haven't quite worked out as planned.
It speaks volumes about Lionel Messi's talents that the World Cup he has just enjoyed could still be considered such a catastrophic failure in so many quarters... Fans cried out that there were plenty of others more deserving of the gong... but Messi has to contend with the expectations his performances over the years have built up.
Brazil 2014 started with a bang and a flurry of group game goals, though the tournament somewhat petered out in the knockout stages as nerves and disjointed football took hold... here is a list of three other sides who failed to impress in Brazil, but should be a lot stronger during the next World Cup in Russia.
This German side imbued the perfect mix of grace, solidity and resolve. Owing to a conveyor belt of talent, they now possess the most gifted players in the world... The idea of Brazil as the home of the beautiful game is a myth and one that deserves to be challenged for it lacks the supporting evidence.
The main problem holding England back at international level may well be a slight lack in overall technical quality, but it does not have to be the reason that England continue to fail so miserably... an extra effort and more drive should see them able to bridge the gap to the very top of world football.