07 June, 2012

Help out Julio Otoni

Did you know that there is a small favela or community in the same street than Casa 579?

Some of our staff members volunteer in the community center of this favela. Children have english classes, art and craft or music classes to open there minds and spirit during their time out of school but also to avoid social problems related to drugs or gangs, pregnancy... 

One of the classes they are taught are "recycling classes" educating and sensitizing them to sustainable development teaching environmentally friendly behaviors knowing that people in low income environments are not environmentally conscious.

This way, the center's volunteers and the children recently created an artistic wall using recycled material such as taps, mirrors, capsules, unused mosaic... Volunteers went around the city collecting old and unused material, children used to bring taps and capsules to the community center....

One of our staff members is currently giving recycling classes doing and crafts using recycled material such as plastic bottles, milk boxes, yogurt pots...  

On June 16th, the kids are going start making sofas made of plastic bottles. Therefore, they need a lot of bottles: at least 100 are needed to make one sofa!!

So we need your contribution! Help us out: leave your plastic bottles in the special bin in Casa 579's kitchen.

Also, you could have a look at the community center's blog: http://juliootoni.wordpress.com

Also, don't forget RIO +20, the UN conference on sustainable development will be launched in a few day. UN represents encourage young people to participate to events and conferences to enable change.
So, while you are around, check out their website  or facebook page and check what's on or which events you could attend.

03 June, 2012


While going on a visit to the Sugar Loaf, why not passing by this really nice and uncommon floating exhibition?

Flutuarte is a free and open air floating art gallery in the Harbour of Urca, created and managed by a group of artists from New York. They are painting fisherman boats in the bay of Urca near the Pao de Açucar. 

Nicolina, one of the artists, mentioned the motivation for the project, “Maxine and I had come to Rio to work on different public art projects. One night we were sitting around the Quadrado just imagining what the area would look like if all the boats were transformed into canvases.”

If you are wanting to have an out of the box experience in Rio, you could help them painting on the boat roofs. You do not need any prior painting experience and they provide all material.

And, if you are lucky, maybe that day they would be organizing a BBQ and a boat trip, what they regularly do organize!! Awesome experience with music, nice people, amazing views and sunset!

While being in the Urca area, you also could go to the beach called Praia Vermelha located in the end of the Avenida Pasteur or walk up the sugar loaf starting from the trail on the left hand side of this beach. Pass the gate and just follow the path. At some point, on your left hand side, you would find a trail going up the hill. 
It only take around 20 minutes and views are incredible!

How to get there?

The exhibition is located in the area of the Sugar Loaf. It takes around 30-45 minutes to get there from the hostel. 
First, catch a van from Casa 579 to largo do Machado. Stop at the end station and walk 2 minutes towards the Praia do Famengo which is the name of the beach but also the name of the boulevard near the beach. From this boulevard, take a bus to Urca 2011 or 107. Urca will be written as a destination on top of the bus. Take only one that indicates Urca. Stop at the crossing of the main avenue with Rua Urandi where you can see a petrol station. Take this street, walk 5 minutes and you would bump into the harbor where the boat are.


If you need any extra indications, ask reception. And if you want some more information about the project, check out their website or like their Facebook page which is really well made!

http://www.flutuarte.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/flutuarteurca

09 May, 2012

Top 10 things to eat while in Rio

Part of visiting a city or country is living, behaving and eating like the locals, and our guests here at Casa579 constantly ask us for restaurant, bars and food recommendations. So to guarantee that you are getting the most out of your stay here in Rio and totally emerge in the carioca way of life, we put together a list of the top 10 sweet and salty things that you have to try. Bon appetit!

  1.  Açai with granola and banana or strawberry (Açai com granola e banana ou morango)http://www.auau.com.br/imagens/cardapio/acai.jpg
  2. Fresh fruit and fresh fruit juice for example pineapple, mango, papaya, water melon, acerola, orange, etc. (fruta ou suco de abacaxi, manga, mamão, melancia, acerola, laranja)
  3.  The flesh on the inside of the green coconut (polpa do coco)
  4. Churros with hot dolce de leite and chocolate filling (Churros mistos)
  5. Sweet pizza with dark or white chocolate and banana or strawberry on top (Pizza doce com chocolate branco ou amargo e banana ou morango)                                                          http://www.apizzamil.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/bananacomchocolate.jpg
  6. Sugar cane juice (Caldo de cana)
  7. Cucuaçu icecream (Sorvete de cucuaçu)
  8. Brigadeiro (brigadeiro)
  9. Graviola milkshake (Suco de graviola com leite)
  10. Guave paste with minas cheese (Goiabada com queijo minas)
 http://www.senado.gov.br/portaldoservidor/jornal/jornal100/Imagens/Queijo_goiabada.jpg  http://www.leitecondensado.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/367-brigadeiro.jpg  https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEh-4bNdzjM3cPlbuIy3ux7VCrBL9cXvYNr8oBCeCj_gGrkvFRX-POqDIRikfI5x-VrnqQa8IG7nWHtybRJ7QiP0q_lmTi6QyrAXfcQy2o20a7VJ7HWwAybP3u1TdopitUd0jV17yVgpaUkO/s1600/sugar+cane+juice.jpg 
  1. Tapioca sandwich with ham and cheese (Tapioca com presunto e queijo)
  2. Pão de Queijo (Pão de Queijo) 
  3. Dried cod fish (Bacalhau) 
  4. Rice and beans (Arroz e feijão)
  5. Cheese or spinach esfiha (Esfiha de queijo ou espinafre)
  6. Fried pastry filled with chicken and cheese (Coxinha) 
  7.  Sun beef (Carne do Sol)
  8. Pastry with dried meat (Pastel de carne seca)
  9. Shrimps (Camarão)
  10. Seafood stew (Moqueca)

10 April, 2012

A sunny Sunday in the city

You wake up to the twittering birds and tucans outside the rooms at our Bed&Breakfast Casa579, you glance at the Christ the Redeemer statue that almost seems to sparkle in the bright sun and over a delicious piece of chocolate cake and a coffee you think: What am I going to do on this sunny Sunday? Lucky for you, giving recommendations and coming up with an itinerary that suits your individual interests is one of our specialties! This time the itinerary combines the natural beauty and the metropolitan part of the city and consists of one of the carioca's top leisure activities: exercising (which includes showing off the results at the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema later on). 

First stop: Parque Lage

Next to the botanical garden lies the beautiful old building of Parque Lage, surrounded by the woods of the Tijuca National Parque and at the foot of the Christ the Redeemer statue. Nowadays a School of Visual Arts, Parque Lage's history goes back to the 16th century. The park is especially worth a visit on Sunday mornings for an abundant breakfast for only R$20. Seated around the pool at tables or on comfortable cushions you have an amazing view of Christ the Redeemer. To walk the breakfast off with a stroll, the various trails and stunning architecture of the park invite you to spend another good hour enjoying the scenery. The small green area in front of the building are perfect for a small picnic or for a quick sun bath. For more active visitors, the park provides a 2 1/2-long trail leading all the way up to the Christ statue. You are traveling with kids? The park is the perfect spot to run around, explore the nature, and observe the different types of fish that are held in the aquarium inside a rock. 
Curiosity: You might remember Parque Lage from the music video "Beautiful" by Snoop Dogg and Pharell.