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Rich, Poor and Outcasts Coexist on Brazil's Rua Augusta

Brazil's economic boom has revitalized the five-block Rua Augusta and turned it into a "cultural blast furnace," writes Vincent Bevins for the Los Angeles Times.
October 5, 2011, 10am PDT | Kristopher Fortin
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Bars, large crowds, and the contemporary music like punk and hip hop have in five years turned Rua Agusta into a renaissance similar to the Sunset Strip, writes Bevins.

"Along a short stretch of the "lower Augusta" strip, there are more than 70 bars and clubs, including at least 10 for live music. On most nights, crowds make it difficult for pedestrians to pass through without stepping off the sidewalk. And almost without exception, in none of the establishments will you find traditional Brazilian music. The scenes are dominated by local takes on punk, hip-hop, metal, indie rock and dance music."

While Rua Augusta avoided the messy effects of gentrification, the wealthy party here as well.

"Glitzy television programs throw parties on the street. When international buzz bands come through, they usually play on Augusta. (Ale Yousseff, former youth coordinator in the mayor's office), says the price of a ticket is often five times more than what it would be in the U.S."

"Yousseff compared the street's transformation to that of East London or Brooklyn in past decades, but the most apt comparison may be to Sunset Boulevard in its mythical days. Live music is key."

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Published on Monday, October 3, 2011 in Los Angeles Times
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