I was overjoyed to have captured this image - to me it perfectly encapsulates the contrasts that I witnessed while visiting this enormous, enchanting city.
São Paulo was the first stop of my 4 month adventure around the world. Although I fell in love with the captivating and vibrant energy of the city, I couldn't help but notice the tremendous inequality gap.
I was staying at my friend's place in the nicest part of the city. The apartment was a gated complex, like all the others in the area, and had CCTVs and security guards. It almost reminded me of Hong Kong since all apartment complexes also have security guards, though with much more relaxed security measures and less fencing. Bordering the upper class district of Jardins, it was about a 10-15 minutes walk away from the prestigious Rua Oscar Freire - the 8th most luxurious street in the world, and 2nd in the Americas after 5th Avenue in New York. It was a safe area and I didn't have to worry when walking around alone even at night.
But the situation was a little different in the old town centre. This is where a lot of the tourist attractions are, but at the same time, it is also notorious for being a rather dangerous area. The difference was definitely noticeable. Sure, there was the odd homeless person around Pinheiros area, but in the centre homelessness seemed much more rife. Many of these people didn't even have shoes. Some even had young children. I was told by locals that some rather seemingly safe places were actually not that safe. For example, the bridge connecting the Municipal Theatre of São Paulo and the Town Hall is apparently renowned for having gangs of teenage boys mugging people at knife point that past by - even Brazilians. I would've never guessed.
Stay tuned for more about São Paulo! I promise you'll be seeing it in the next 2 days!