General Osório Market – 1913

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General Osório Square market – 8AM

It’s well known that Ipanema is home to a square with the name General Osório but back in 1913, there was another public square in downtown Rio which had this name first. Meaning there weren’t two squares with the same name at the same time. The Ipanema location was called Praça Marechal Floriano Peixoto back in 1913, only being renamed General Osório in 1922.

As it existed in the photos shown here, it served as an open-air vegetable and bird market.

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The downtown General Osório went by different names at different times, starting with Largo da Forca (where public hangings took place) and Largo do Capim (where Angola grass was sold), before becoming General Osório, and later being destroyed to make room for the opening of Av. Presidente Vargas.

Rio Moderno – 1930

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“Rio of the 1930s is a city of constant surprises. Its vertiginous progress challenges the most ample perspectives and the most fertile imaginations. We don’t speak anymore of its incomparable natural beauty […] One unique aspect of this progress would suffice to define it: the rapid evolution of our services of telephonic inter-communication. The process of the telephone with an intermediary (switchboard operators) will become inefficient to our needs: thus the installation of the automatic telephone which the Brazilian Telephonic Company is endowing, progressively, every zone of the city. Our images show panoramic aspects of the elegant neighborhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Gávea where it will be inaugurated, in the days to come, the 7th station of these telephones.”

First, I doubt “every zone of the city” included the Zona Norte. Second, it’s amazing to consider how populated the Zona Sul was in May 1930 when there would have been residents living there who could easily remember the area being practically untouched, a few decades prior.

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I’ll leave some jokes of the era, about the automatic phone, from January 1930

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The Cavalo from Cantagalo

Sometimes, one comes across the strangest of stories. A prime example being this one below from Careta magazine’s November 1957 edition.

In this apparently true story (I looked up the police commissioner’s name, and he a was real person), a horse falls off the Cantagalo hill at night and lands in a third story apartment of a residential building. The rest of the story is mostly people trying to understand what the hell is going on. The poor horse survives, by the way.

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Note: The article says it took place in Copacabana, but the address is Barão da Torre, 33, which is clearly Ipanema. There’s nothing I can find of the era that would hint at a change in delineation of neighborhoods. Of course, if one goes back far enough, the entire area used to be known as Fazenda de Copacabana but that’s not really relevent here. The 2nd district police station being telephoned was actually located in Copacabana, so maybe that’s what’s being referred to.

Ipanema Pier (1970-74)

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In 1968, the government of the then-State of Guanabara made plans to build a pipeline in Rio, to have sewage taken out into the ocean, far away from the coastline. As part of the process, they had to build a pier on Posto 9 in Ipanema. Its construction made for the best waves in all of Rio, because it created an artificial sea floor and because all the pillars on either side had steel plates alongside them, preventing sand from crossing from one side of the pier to the other. Both factors made for great surfing.

As it became the place to be for surfers, who migrated there from “Arpex” (the nickname of Arpoador) and, following them, were artists, actors, musicians, poets, writers, hippies, homeless, and intellectuals. During the military dictatorship and the so-called “Anos de Chumbo”, that lasted until 1985, these urban tribes saw the area around the pier as a place of free expression and learned to coexist. On the surfing side, the pier was the stage for the 1972 Carioca Surf Championship which started surf culture in Brazil, and brought the diversity of visitors cited above. Among them were Caetano, Gil, Gal, Raul, Gabeira, and even Paulo Coelho. Gal Costa went there so often they often called the area near the pier “Gal’s Dunes” (as dunas da Gal).

Sometime before 1975, less than 5 years after construction to build it stopped, it was taken down for reasons I can’t seem to find.

PS – If you go straight to the beach from Rua Teixeira de Melo, you might just find what’s left of some old, rusted pillars from the pier.

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SourcesCraud via Revista Surfar, Pier de Ipanema. The two colored photos (by Mucio Scorzelli).