Sunday, 11 November 2012

Rio Pequeno & a Cultural Policy

Vladimir Saflate, a USP professor writes about a Cultural Policy for São Paulo – for ‘Carta Capital’ a weekly magazine in 28 October 2012. Now that Workers Party's Fernando Haddad has won the mayoral elections of 2012 - the issue comes back to discussion.

Brazil considers itself a musical country. Paris has got a music school for each district. Now, tell me how many public Music Schools there are in São Paulo? None! In case a teen-ager in Parelheiros or Rio Pequeno wants to be an actor where will he turn to?

São Paulo needs as many municipal art schools as possible to offer its youth not only workshops but long-term courses in music, theatre, dance, audio-visual arts and literature.

The displaying of the Nation's cultural production shows São Paulo as a city clearly segregated socially. Most suburbs do not even have a small public library. Rio Pequeno actually do not have any public building – except CEU Butantã which is closer to Rodovia Raposo Tavares than to Rio Pequeno’s centre itself – where any public artistic activity could take place.

If you really want to read Vladimir Saflate’s article in full go to:

Monday, 22 October 2012

Rio Pequeno means Little River

Rio Pequeno is a suburb in the outskirts of São Paulo's West Side. It has been a dormitory place for the last 40 years. That means, people would work somewhere else and come here to sleep the night and go off to work the next day. That is what 'dormitory suburbia' means.

I wish I had photos of Rio Pequeno dating back the 1960s but I only have pictures from the late 1970s onwards. 

I might be lucky and meet someone who might have older pictures... but I'm not very hopeful. Anyway, let's start blogging with the material we've got hold of now. 
My Mother & Myself circa 1978 having two football fields in the back. Half of this area has been land-filled and a public market aka 'sacolão' built in its place by the administration of Mario Covas (1983-1985) who had been appointed S.Paulo mayor during Franco Montoro's tenure as Governor (1983-1987). The football-field closer to Estrada do Rio Pequeno became what is known as 'Corinthinhas'. See the road in the back ground that climbs up the hill? It is Rua Rui Amaral Lemos. On the upper extreme left side of the picture there is a hill-side with trees: that's where condominium Parque dos Principes would be built.
Rute Darin (holding a transistor radio on her right hand) & Yolanda Darin on the same day in 1978. Vila Dalva lies on the hill-side in the background.
Rute & Yolanda at an amusement park that set up shop in Rio Pequeno. Sometimes a circus would pitch up their tent at this same lot that eventually would become Avenida Engenheiro Adolfo Graziani.  
Same vacant lot where circus and amusement parks would pitch their tent. 
Rute & Sandra posing on Rua Sebastião Mainarde. One can see the former bridge that ran on top of Rio Pequeno (Little River) on to Rua Angelina Russo linking Vila Dalva's side to Rio Pequeno itself. Further back one can see the sports-court belonging to Escola Estadual Daniel Paulo Verano Pontes.
Goats, horses and chickens used to roam free on Rio Pequeno streets in the 1970s. 
By the banks of Little River... literally! One can see Vila Dalva in the background.
At the end of Passagem Particular no. 14 (Rua Francisco Precioso today) there was this rickety foot-bridge over Little River (Rio Pequeno) that led on to the other side - Rua Sebastião Mainarde, Vila Dalva. After mayor Paulo Salim Maluf (1993-1997) built Avenida Politécnica, most of these houses were torn down and Rio Pequeno was 'canalized' but not covered. One can still smell the stench coming out of its polluted waters today (2015).
Estrada do Rio Pequeno on the corner of Rua Francisco Precioso (former Passagem Particular n. 14) circa 1989 just across Panificadora e Confeitaria Vitapão.
Final stop of Rio Pequeno busses next to Escola Brasil-Japão circa 1989. When Luiza Erundina (Jan. 1989 to Jan. 1993) was São Paulo's mayor she passed a law which changed the bus colours according to 8 different regions: area 1 (northwest) became green; area 2 blue (north); area 3 yellow (northeast); area 4 red (east); area 5 forest-green (southeast); area 6 blue (south), area 7 wine colour (sothwest) and area 8 orange colour (west).   
a Lapa-Rio Pequeno bus turns right from Rua Angelina Russo onto Avenida do Rio Pequeno. Local busses had dark-red colour before Luiza Erundina administration (1989 to 1993).

art-work done by Marcelo 'Busovsky' Amendola show Rio Pequeno busses from 1970s & 1980s.

If you know more about the region try Wikipedia:

try this blog about Rio Pequeno:

try this one about Favela do Sapé:

and this:

Eearly settlers 1962 - 1963

My uncle Claudio Amorim and wife Francisca de Oliveira with their five children: Claudio André aka Claudinho, Jacinto, Claudete, Reinaldo and Claudia (next to her mother) circa 1964. They were the first members of our family to move out to Rio Pequeno in late 1961.  

Our family hail originally from Ourinhos-SP and Marília-SP. Most of us migrated to São Paulo circa 1960. Mario was the first to settle in S. Paulo; then came Claudio in 1959. Claudio & Francisca with children went to live in Vila Madalena, on Rua Iperó, 11-A while we lived on Rua Simpatia, 42 later 103.

I remember my first visit to Rio Pequeno around 1962 to visit them. We used to take a bus that started off from Rua Paes Leme in Pinheiros. I remember being on the Rio Pequeno bus humming the tune of 'Green leaves of summer' (Folhas verdes de verão) a 1961 hit sung by Wilma Bentivegna. 

It must have been a Saturday afternoon and I would sleep over and return to 'civilization' on the Sunday. They lived on Rua Gaspar Gomes (it had only a Number as street identification then) in a little house my uncle built himself during his spare time working as a nurse at Hospital das Clinicas. This street came off Rua Maria Tereza Nascimento de Azevedo which was a number-street too. 

I used to love when the Rio Pequeno bus crossed the only bridge over Rio Pinheiros. I kept on watching to see what movies were playing at Cine Eldorado on rua Vital Brasil.
1966 on Rua João Moura in Pinheiros where Mario Amorim had bought a house and lived with his wife Edes Garbellini. From left to right: cousin Dulcineia, Grandmother Albina; uncle Mario with his children Luiz Fernando & Regina Celia; cousin Celso (in back); Grandfather Fernando Antonio and finally my aunt Dulce holding her youngest Paulo Cesar. Gabriel must have taken the picture. See that public works were being done on the street. One can see Rua Cardeal Arcoverde in the background. 
Uncle Mario de Amorim (on the right) worked as a Social Worker at Hospital das Clinicas. Mario had migrated to São Paulo circa 1954. By the end of the 50s he had already bought a house on rua João Moura, in Pinheiros and proceeded to bring the rest of his brothers and sisters to settle in Sao Paulo too. 

My father João, Mario's oldest brother managed to bring us to the capital-city in December 1960. We went to live at Vila Madalena, where my dad paid rent to a Portuguese family who had themselves migrated to Brazil in the late 1940s. Then uncle Mario devised a plan: everyone should buy small lots at Rio Pequeno and try to built houses to stop paying rent for the rest of our lives. Claudio was the first member who heeded the call to save money and plan his future. Claudio's family were the first to leave off paying rent at Vila Madalena and build his own house in Rio Pequeno as of early 1962.
Dulcineia, Gabriel, Celso, aunt Dulce and Paulo Cesar plus Celso on the right. There was a time circa 1963, when they too had to move to Rio Pequeno. They lived in a wooden house that had belonged to uncle Claudio Amorim before he built a proper brick house. Dulce worked at Hospital das Clinicas and used to take the infamous 'papa-fila' to get to work too.

Little River (Rio Pequeno) was clean and we used to go down and catch tiny fish with a sieve and put them in fish-bowls. Where Escola Brasil-Japão stands today was a beautiful farm (chácara) which was irrigated from the clean waters of the brook that gave its name to this new settlement. Estrada do Rio Pequeno was the only paved street in the region. Most streets were dusty when dry and muddy when wet.

Busses from Rio Pequeno made their final stop at rua Paes Leme in Pinheiros. There was no direct service between Rio Pequeno and the City. One had to get off in Pinheiros, take another bus and pay another fare to keep going all the way to the centre of the city. 
The infamous Papa-Fila was a giant bus pulled by an FNM truck. It used to service the poor people who lived in Rio Pequeno. It was the only time I've seen such 'monsters' in my life. Its terminal was around what is called 'Cinco Quinas' (Five Corners) today.

ponto inicial do papa-fila que vinha p'ro Rio Pequeno no Anhangabaú.
papa-fila in front of the Lysoform factory... 
Em 1952 havia na encruzilhada com a Av. Vital Brasil, Av. Jockey Club e Av. Francisco Morato uma arvore frondosa conhecida como a Paineira do Butantã. À sua sombra havia uma guarita de fiscalização de tráfego de caminhões pois o  local era a saída para as estradas Raposo Tavares  e Régis Bittencourt [em direção ao Paraná]. A parada era obrigatória para o exame das notas fiscais de mercadorias levadas para outras regiões. depoimento de:
a paineira já no tempo de foto colorida. Subindo à esquerda está a Av. Francisco Morato e dobrando à direita a rua Vital Brasil.
Old Osasco map... one can see that Rio Pequeno (at number 1) was called Sitio Rio Pequeno.
Uncle Mario, my father João and their youngest brother Claudio. Mario insisted that my father should buy a lot in Rio Pequeno and build a house on it. Claudio was the first to move to Rio Pequeno in 1962. It took us another 15 years to finally move here.
Snap-shot taken at Parque da Luz in 1960. Clockwise from Francisca & Claudio, then Claudinho, Claudete, Jacinto & Reinaldo Antonio. I remember the day Claudio & Francisca left Marilia for São Paulo in 1959. They all took the train that left Marilia around 7:00 PM. Francisca carried Reinaldo in her arms. As Reinaldo was born in 18 May 1959, they must have left Marília circa September 1959. This snapshot must have been taken a year later: September 1960. That's pretty accurate I would say. 
This is the house on Rua Gaspar Gomes that Uncle Claudio built in 1962. At first they built a wooden house on the left side of the lot. Then he and his mates would work week-ends and built a brick house that still stands after all these years... 

Vila Madalena in the 1960s

Quando a Vila Madalena começou a ficar cara, em meados dos anos 1960, a população mais pobre, que pagava aluguel, começou a mudar-se para a periferia cada vez mais longe. Uns iam para o Caxinguí, outros para a Vila Sônia, Previdência etc. Os mais pobres não tinham outro recurso a não ser irem para o Rio Pequeno, o bairro mais longe de todos, já que faz divisa com Osasco, outro município.

Portanto aqui postamos fotos da antiga Vila Madalena, que foi berço de muitos pioneiros do Rio Pequeno.
Lá vem um bonde da Light descendo a rua Fradique Coutinho, enquanto um cachorro se coça justo nos trilhos. O estabelecimento comercial que se vê à direita era uma pizzaria na esquina com a rua Aspicuelta.

procissão segue pela rua Girassol em direção à Igreja de Vila Madalena.
querido padre Olavo Pezzotti com Rodolfo Tamanini, futuro asteta da Vila.

Rodolpho Tamanini, amigos e vizinhos no dia que a rua Belmiro Braga foi asfaltada no final do anos 1950.

Igreja do Calvário ainda sem a torre do campanário.
o Calvário por dentro.
Gabriel Marcolino, Osvaldo Luiz e Celso Silverio tocam suas guitarras elétricas na casa da rua Girassol circa 1966.
futuro desenhista Paulo Caruso [a esquerda] e seu conjunto de rock na Vila Madalena.
Paulo Caruso [à direita], William e suas guitarras elétricas.

Padre Olavo Pezzotti - pequena biografia

Olavo Pezzotti - primeiro páraco de Vila Madalena - nasceu em 1921 em Rio Claro-SP.

Na sua infância pensava em ter diversas profissões como marceneiro, carpinteiro etc. Devido a morte de seu irmão com 12 anos de idade, Olavo decidiu cumprir a promessa que fizera ao irmão de tornar-se padre em seu lugar.

Pe. Olavo ajudou muitas pessoas na Vila Madalena, além da construção da Igreja Vila Madalena e a Escola Municipal da rua Fradique Coutinho. Olavo tinha paixão pelo futebol fazendo-se de arbitro dos jogos de várzea que aconteciam no campinho da Vila.

Com o passar do tempo Olavo viu que tinha vontade de constituir família e resolveu casar-se, largando assim a batina. Estudou em Pirapóra-SP fazendo curso de álgebra, filosofia, francês, inglês, geometria etc. Mais tarde fundou a Faculdade Pinherense.

O querido padre Olavo, mesmo não sendo mais padre, faleceu em 1979 em São Paulo.

Rio Pequeno in 1984

Estrada do Rio Pequeno in Dezembro 1984.
Escola Brasil-Japão with  the slogan 'Diretas Já' splashed on its walls in December 1984. Brazil was coming out of a long dictatorship that lasted 20 years. People were demanding to vote for president but that was finally denied in the end.
Escola Brasil-Japão and Rio Pequeno bus-terminal.

Sandra buying the Sunday newspaper at a news-stand that doesn't exist anymore.
My sister Rute eating a pastel-de-carne while Mother watches.

pushing a feira-trolley along Estrada Rio Pequeno in Dezembro 1964. 
Bazar Rio Pequeno is still a fixture up to date... here's how it was in December 1984.

Rio Pequeno 1979

Myself and sister Rute on the street where we lived in Rio Pequeno circa 1979. 
Our next-door neighbours Djanira, Ico Tobias and Fabiana, their youngest daughter. Djanira's brother looks on.
Beti & her son Ademir in 1979.
Myself in front of our house while it was still being added-upon. Ronaldo wants to get on the photo...
Rute in front of our house... in the middle of our street (Madness's 'Our house)... Ronaldo looks on...
in 1978 we were happy and we didn't know!
Rute holds our youngest cousin Arnaldo on her arms. The white fence belonged to Signore Salvatore who was an Italian migrant who lived with his wife Caterina in a little house there. I wish I had taken his picture too.
Cousin Reinaldo (wearing glasses), Macalé and another two guys check what's wrong with the Kombi. 
Sandra & Myself & Macalé's truck 'Monstrinho'. 
João, Osvaldo, Sandra, Yolanda, Clelia, Fernando, Maria Lucia & Luiz Carlos. 
Dad looks away and Douglas looks into the camera...


Actually I wish I had taken a lot more pictures circa 1977 when we moved to Rio Pequeno. We had a lot of interesting neighbours. We had a few terrible ones too but time is really a magician because we tend to forget the bad times and remember only the good ones. 

We had a Portuguese family living opposite to our house... dona Ernestina and 'seu' Isaltino   who had three children, AfonsinhoFatima and an older daughter Fernanda, who wasn't very friendly. 

Two houses up from ours there was signore Salvatore and dona Caterina, his frail wife who had a heart condition. Salvatore used to chat a lot... he had migrated from Napoli, Italy and received a pension from the Italian government. 

Our next-door neighbour was 'seu' João married to dona Julia who had three daughters: Lô (probably Lourdes), Mina and Meirinha. João had a horse he kept on a vacant lot between our houses. We eventually bought the plot which serves us as a garden today.

Irineu and Janet were a young couple who lived across the street next to the Portuguese family. They had a nice boy called Sergio. Much later they moved out and went to live in São José dos Campos-SP.

Next house up was 'seu' Dito's house. Benedito was married to dona Cinira and had a lot of adult children who eventually started getting married and moving out. Macalé (was already married when we moved in), Sonia, Suely, Osmar and three more.  

There was also dona Dina and her husband sr. Amorim (from Bahia) - same surname as ours but no relation. They had two boys: Ricardo and Renato. Later on dona Dina had another boy who was called Guilherme

Next house up was a Chilean family who moved out after a few years. I never knew their name.