Rua Aspicuelta, São Paulo
Written by Matthias Brendler Illustration by Marion Vitus
The inspiring painter living and working in São Paulo, Suzanna Schlemm takes us along Rua Aspicuelta in the renowned bohemian area of Vila Madalena.
In São Paulo, a city with no natural views, there is a lot to see, with life more defined by internal space than in other Brazilian cities. Here, it often it takes an artist to help reconnect with humanity.
“Walking down Aspicuelta Street is a similar experience to walking around the Lower East Side in New York City. You can feel a creative energy in the air,” says Suzanna. “Both have that same kind of commerce: small stores and cafés, independent designers, unique items. It feels very... intimate. You enter a store and talk to the owner, who usually is the person actually creating the pieces for sale.”
For culture, Suzanna heads to Pássaro Achado, “a perfect mix of artful fashion and fabulous paintings”, she says. And for literature, “Livraria da Vila is one of the best bookstores in São Paulo.”
The street life is buzzing with activity in the heart of the neighbourhood. “I always come to Vila Madalena during the day, usually on Saturdays. At night, the place is quite lively, but I prefer it during daytime since what I find most attractive there are the shops and cafés, and not the bars and restaurants,” she says.
The whole day can be whiled away here just eating! Breakfast would be at Le Pain Quotidien: “I love the open two-storey wooden space with magnificent fresh breads,” she says. For lunch, Lá da Venda, “simultaneously a restaurant and a home store that sells super-charming handmade items”. Afternoon tea at Le Jardin Secret, “a French café with amazing pastry”, and for dinner, “Madeleine, an inviting, bohemian café”.
For gifts, Suzanna can’t resist the quirky objects in Japonique, “an infinite assortment of Japanese pop design objects – a dangerous place as once I get in it’s too late, I’m trapped!” If it’s gifts for the kids, she recommends Fabrica, “a toy store with real toys that also offers activities for kids. Wooden toys, cool games, the real thing”, she says.
“The place that most surprised me and one of the main reasons why I love the area so much is a store called Pássaro Achado (Found Bird). When I entered that store, I immediately identified with the place: the beautiful clothes and accessories, the music, the chic and relaxed way the store is put together, very much like a friend’s house.”
São Paulo, Brazil
Painter Suzanna Schlemm is a recent São Paulo transplant, originally from Rio de Janeiro by way of the esteemed New York Studio School. “When I escape to a place like Vila Madalena, I feel very relaxed, surrounded by other people’s creations. It is always very refreshing and inspiring. Of course, I also feel tempted to buy a few amazing things I find along the way, but most important is what I get for free: a fresh blast of inspiration that makes me want to go right back to the studio.”