The Carioca woman – 1923

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– But how is it that you let that man come in if I’m in my under garmets?
– What’s the matter? When you go to dances, you go out in even less clothing!

__________

The image above and following story are both from an April 1923 edition of Careta. I noticed they both commented on the modern woman of the time. As for who Herr Hess is a pen name for, or if the story is true, I couldn’t find those answers. There’s also a word or phrase which I was unsure about how to translate.


Rio is still a city in which the morals of colonial times have remained almost entirely. If this is good or bad on its own, each person can judge for themselves, because morals are just a result and don’t exist on their own. It’s like perfume and a flower, it’s perfume, good or bad, it doesn’t exist independently from the flower. This, yes, it exists and can have or not have a smell, whether great or detestable.

With that said, to not bore anymore, we return to Rio. Here a woman who likes to date is always badly seen. Why? On her own? No. By those that look upon her, who are worse than she is. Badness doesn’t come from the woman who likes to date, it comes from the conniving and the spies.

In my weak manner of understanding, dating, a national institution, represents the only rebellion that people of the other sex are capable of, and I think that it can only have good results, even when its duration exceeds nine months, in which case the census sees a serious increase in the city’s population. I don’t believe that due to dating that the sea leaves the seabed nor that the exchange rate lowers to 4d*. I appreciate a woman who likes to date in the same way that I behold a decided conqueror.

In my opinion the lady Anesthésia who lives right here in Flamengo is such a woman. She’s an intelligent and paradoxical young lady. Speaking with her alone on the porch about the slander involved in her name, she, who was once my girlfriend and today is undecided between a neighbor and a cousin, told me with complete calmness:

– I am, in fact, a woman who likes to date and I’ve very content with myself.

– You must have, certainly, moments of boredom…

– I do. Sometimes I cry; I contradict myself; I worry myself…but for a short time. At the end of 24 hours I recover my cold blood. Because, I’ll have you know, I do have cold blood. It’s in this special case of temperament that my unlimited faculty to date whoever I wish resides. Dating, it’s everything.

– Don’t I know it. I didn’t need to get information from strangers nor from…rivals.

– You’re conceited…Your own experience is still very reduced. I guarantee that you haven’t guessed anything else… Yes, that’s where you remain. But I should say that I don’t date just for temperament, but still for… (how shall I say it?) for…devotion or for humanity. Well that’s it. Dating is a condom, it is the prophylaxis of love…

– Would you have the good manners to explain it to me?

– Simply, I will. Here you see me. I am over 25 years old and I hope to reach 30 completely uninjured by love. Because love isn’t just romance. It’s the grave reality that is concerned with slavery, children, the devil. And why would I want to enslave myself and fill up the world with innocent victims of our slave-quarter morals? – Herr Hess

* – d usually equates to pennies, from the Latin denarius

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Rua Santa Luzia

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I was looking at a large number of Fon Fon magazine covers from the 1920s when I came across this one from November of 1921. I didn’t recognize the street, which is odd, but I did recognize the name at the bottom – Praia de Santa Luzia. Still, a beautiful tree-lined street near the beach? So I did what any armchair historian would, and pulled the thread, as it were. Here’s what unraveled.

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It seems quite likely that street in question, Rua Santa Luzia, is the one on the left of the photo above, beside the Hospital da Misericórdia, which dates back to 1582. There was, of course, a time when there were no trees (1856) and a time when the trees were starting to grow (1895).

Regarding the trees themselves, a blog with an even more narrow topic than mine called Árvores Cariocas, says the following:

“Originally from India, the Figueira-religiosa (Ficus religiosa) was introduced in Brazil by the French landscape artist Glaziou, in the second half of the 19th century. The tree impresses with its size, which can reach 30m high, but also by the sculptures formed by its adventitious roots. In Buddhist culture it is considered a sacred tree, being that under its canopy, Buddha discovered the secrets of life.

Although exotic, the species acclimated well here, being found in several points in the city. A highlighted collection is located on Rua Santa Luzia, in downtown, in front of Santa Casa de Misericórdia. The seedlings were planted in November 1873, by the botanist Francisco Freire Alemão (possibly a German preist).”

Here’s a 1950’s photo of the street:

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These days, you’ll find that the street still exists, located near Rio’s domestic airport, Santos Dumont. There are less trees now but you can still get a feel for what it was. And when you try to look to the edge of the city, like so many must have done hundreds of years ago, at the water’s edge, the image is no longer that of man versus the sea, but rather of people spreading their wings.

 

Rio Panorama – 1922

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There’s a cool panorama in the December 9, 1922 edition of Revista da Semana, showing all the important aspects of Rio de Janeiro at the time. The viewpoint is the tower of the Meteorological Observatory (old Calabouço fort).

Each photo here can be enlarged with a click, including the two page spread as a whole, at the bottom. Additionally, I’ll add another panorama of sorts, this time of Rio’s mountain range from a February 23, 1924 edition of the magazine.

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City Panorama – 1922

The circular panorama of Rio de Janeiro, which we’ll reproduce on these pages, is the most important photographic work of its kind up to now, registered in Brazil’s illustrated press and which the editor of photographs of Revista da Semana obtained from the upper platform of Calabouço’s large tower, spinning the camera around the highest building of the city. Our prints, systematically prepared, reproduce the entire panorama of Rio de Janeiro, with the following noted:

1. The old monastery of São Bento. 2. Cobras island, with the metallic naval bridge highlighted among the two numbers. 3. Partial aspect of the Mercado. 4. The Statistics pavilion of the Commemorative Exposition of Independence. 5. The graceful Hunting and Fishing pavilion, distinguished by the Dom João VI galleon in the small bay. 6. The Fiscal island, where one finds the Naval Museum. 7 – 8. The Brazilian battleships Minas Geraes and São Paulo. 9. The tip of Armação, in Niterói. 10. The northern extremity of the shot rock from the landfill at the tip of Calabouço, which projects itself over the sea coupled by the extremely vast area. 11. View of Niterói. 12. Boa Viagem island. 13 – 14. Pico and Santa Cruz forts. 15. Villegaignon island. 16. The shot rock from the landfill of Santa Luzia beach. 17. The extensive conquered area of the sea, with the land taken from Castelo hill. 18. The Exposition’s picturesque restaurant. 19. The Cervejaria Antartica pavillion. 20 – 21. The Lage and São João forts. 22 – 23. Sugarloaf and Urca hill, connected by the famous aerial path.

24. Glória’s beautiful knoll, distinguished by the grand building of the Glória Hotel on the oriental flank. 25. Part of the Exposition’s compound, where, from left to right, the Brahma, Hanseatica and General Electric breweries can be found. 26. Partial aspect of the Amusement Park. 27. The facade of the Amusement Park, a project and construction of professor Sr. Morales de los Rios. 28. Gávea hill. 29. Corcovado, in whose summit the Christ the Redeemer monument is being built. 30. General view of Santa Teresa. 31 – 32. Tijuca and Papagaio Peak. 33. The heavy dome of the Palácio das Festas. 34. The Santa Casa da Misericórdia. 35. The Monroe pavilion, where one can find the offices of the Commemorative Exposition. 36. The back part of the National Library. 37. Castelo hill’s western subdivision. 39. The Palácio dos Estados, seeing the back part of the tower of jewels. 40. The main door and the facade of the Mercado, adapted for the Exposition’s installations. 41. The only tower of the Cathedral and the two colonial towers of the Carmo Church. 42. The towers of the Candelaria church, where one finds the Meteorological Observatory and which served as an axis point for this wide panorama.

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Geological Panorama – 1924

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From left to right: Ponte de Guaratiba, Pico da Cabeça de Boi, Ilhas Cagarras, Gávea, Morro dos Dois Irmãos, Pico de Papagaio, Tijuca, (Can’t read it), Corcovado, Morro dos Cabritos, (Can’t read it), Ponta de Copacabana, Avenida Atlântica, Copacabana Palace, Babilônia, Morro do Leme, Pão de Açúcar.

Obviously, there are a lot more than what is listed. For anyone interested in a great documentary series on the geography of Rio (season 1) and Brazil (season 2), look for Sobre Rochas (the latter season can be found on Daily Motion).

Rio A.D.

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“Christ the Redeemer needs help. Not even the Catholic Church can escape the effects of the crisis that has hit the country. For the first time in 85 years, the internationally known monument will be the target of crowdfunding. Almost US$1.5 million is spent yearly to guarantee maintenance, services and employee salaries at the shrine. Institutional partnerships among Rio’s Archdiocese and private companies are no longer enough.

In an attempt to overcome the problem and avoid harming projects being performed at the location, the “Friend of Christ the Redeemer” campaign is being launched on Tuesday, at the top of Corcovado. It is geared not just towards the faithful, but towards business owners and residents that are touched by the situation at the country’s most visited tourist spot. Donation can be made online or via deposits to the bank account associated with the shrine.

A similar situation only happened prior to construction, in two campaigns put on by the Catholic Church in the years 1923 and 1929. They were public donations, which amounted to 500 contos de réis, guaranteeing the monument’s construction.

— Historical records show how beautiful the whole mobilization of the Brazilian people was, dedicated to making donations to build Christ the Redeemer. The same needs to happen now, for its conservation and for the maintenance of sociocultural works that we do — highlights the pastor of the Christ the Redeemer Sanctuary, father Omar Raposo.”

Source (PT, read more)


As a bonus, to know how Christ was going to look, see the 1923 mockup below (click to enlarge). A few more ideas, plus a text on other possible locations for the monument, are here (PT). For my post Rio B.C. about what Corcovado looked like before Christ, go here

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Praia do Flamengo wall

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Above is an “instantâneo” from February 2nd, 1924 on Flamengo beach (with its famous paredão). Below, I’ve dated the wall through archived images. Why write about the wall in the first place? It’s always captured my attention due to the lack of such big walls at any of Rio’s beaches today, not to mention the now-lost sensation of crossing a street and immediately being at the beach, within a few steps of the water.

Through my research, I’m able to see that the paredão existed in this form in 1914 photos as well as in images taken as far as the 1930s and 1940s (but with a high wall and with a more crowded beach). There is an image I found from 1916 where the wall is also really high, so I’m guessing the sand bank got eroded at different times. By 1958, the beach had a larger area of sand.

From previous knowledge and what I can gather, the wall itself was created by the Pereira Passos government around 1906, and by 1961, it had been removed due to the Aterro project in 1965. Somewhere in between, it was seemingly calm and quaint (baring ressacas, as seen here in 1915).

By the way, notice the useful but dangerous hooks in the wall for hanging clothes, and see here how they used to advertise products and services.