The American Society Rio Community Notebook: Version 25

The American Society Rio Community Notebook

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”

Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (1925- ), American baseball player,

almost all of whose professional career was spent as a catcher with the New York Yankees;

selected three times for the Most Valuable Player Award; later managed the New York Mets, as well as the Yankees, leading both teams to the World Series, in 1973 and 1964, respectively; famous for his odd, but strangely true Yogi-isms (the most oft-quoted being, “It ain't over till it's over.”) now found in the 1998 collection, The Yogi Book: "I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said"


On Thursday, October 7th, we’ll be having a Happy Hour to get everybody in the mood for the long holiday weekend that starts the next day (see following item). As we went to print, the venue was still being selected, but it will be somewhere in Ipanema, near the Ipanema / Gal. Osório Metrô station, so everybody should have no problem getting there (and home) easily. Event details soon to come.


American Society Governor Lou Servizio has organized an idyllic excursion to Ilha Grande for the long holiday weekend of October 9th through 12th, and he's managed to get the Lonier Praia Inn Flats to extend the reservations deadline. But you MUST act NOW if you’re just realizing that October is upon us. Send an email immediately to Lou Servizio at to find out if there’s still room at the Inn for you. It’s bound to be a trip to remember, with 4 days of sunbathing, nature trails, snorkeling, boat trips, scuba diving and just plain relaxation. More about Ilha Grande (in Portuguese) here.


Trivial Pursuit®, Rummikub® and Bunco are currently being planned for this brand new event, whose first gathering will be held on Tuesday, October 19th in the Green Room at the Paissandu Atlético ClubeAfrânio de Melo Franco, 330, Leblon. We’re not wedded to this selection of games, so if you’ve got a favorite board game that you’ve been itching to play with friends (Stratego, anyone?) and haven’t had the chance (or the nerve), let us know your suggestion by sending an email to


American Society Rio’s Museum Visits Series continues on Tuesday, October 26th with a trip to the Museu Imperial and several other principal sites of Petrópolis. Built in 1845, it's located in the city center and was the summer residence for Pedro de Alcântara João Carlos Leopoldo Salvador Bibiano Francisco Xavier de Paula Leocádio Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga, better known to his pals (and just about everyone else) as Emperor Dom Pedro II, who reigned for 58 years as the second and final ruler of the Empire of Brazil. On display in the Emperor’s office in the palace is the world’s second working telephone (the first belonged to Alexander Graham Bell). Want to know why this came to be? Well, you’ll have to take the tour! Limited to 30 people, first come, first served. Preference will be given to paid-up Society members; if space is available, wait-listed non-members will be included after the reservations cut-off date (still to be set). Send your note of interest to be a part of the group to:


Here's hair-raising news: The American Society Rio’s annual Halloween Party will take place on the dark and scary night of Saturday, October 30th. Earlier that same spooky day, Society members and their children, no matter which haunted school they attend, are invited to join kids from the Escola Americana do of Rio de Janeiro at their own frightfully fun-filled party at the EARJ Gávea campus. We're searching the crypt now for more bloodcurdling details about both events and will unveil them for you soon, including the location of the Most Sincere Pumpkin Patch in Rio de Janeiro. However, first a plea from the Great Pumpkin himself! If you’re going to or are now in the US, but will be back before Halloween, please pick up some typical Halloween candy, the sort that is commonly given out to Trick or Treaters as they make their wraithlike, neighborhood rounds.


The United States Marine Corps will celebrate 235 years of existence this coming November 10th, and here in Rio the celebration will be held on Friday, November 12th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Copacabana, which will host the Marine Corps Birthday Ball. Tickets are now available and will be sold until Friday, October 15th. The price of R$200 per person includes food and drink, as well as a Ball Gift. To purchase tickets, contact Sgt. Joe Infante at He’ll tell you how to make your payment. Don’t delay, tickets are going fast!


Sunday, October 3rd is the first round of voting in Brazil, when voters will elect a new president to replace President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva who is completing his second, 4-year term in office and is constitutionally prohibited from a third consecutive mandate. Voters will also choose members of the federal Senate and Chamber of Deputies, as well as governors and members of the unicameral legislative assemblies in all 26 states and the Federal District of Brasília. For the next several weeks, your Community Notebook will highlight some aspects of Brazilian elections that distinguish them from US elections.

Let's start with the fact that voting is obligatory. If Brazilian citizens are between age 18 and 70, and literate, they MUST vote if, on Election Day, they are in the city where they are registered. As Brazil has no absentee or mail-in ballots, or early voting options (as are common in many parts of the US), voters who are out-of-town on Election Day MUST appear at a nearby polling station and “justify” their inability to vote in the locale where they are registered. Brazilians who are illiterate, or age 16 to 18 or over 70, are not obliged to vote, but may do so if they wish. Citizens who live or are traveling abroad also have the option to vote, as do US citizens abroad, but Brazilians may only do so at a Brazilian embassy or consulate.

In upcoming editions, we'll look at several ways in which Brazil's electoral system differs greatly from the US, including the second round of voting (to be held, if necessary, on Sunday, October 31st), the method of nominating and electing congressmen and senators, and why Brazil's totally electronic voting system works.


Beatles Night 2 will DEFINITELY be this town’s really big show TONIGHT, Friday, September 24th at 8:00 pm. Following the wildly successful 2009 Beatles Night, the British and Commonwealth Society have cajoled Neville Thorley & the Midnight Hour, Martin Hester & his chorus, Christine & the British School Band, and Rice & Beans to put on another Fab Four extravaganza. Everything will Come Together at the Jubilee Hall of Christ Church at Rua Real Grandeza, 99, in Botafogo. Doors open at 7.30 pm. Pizza delivery and a cash bar will be available. You say It's All Too Much? Oh! Darling, it's not. BCS members pay only R$20, others R$25, cash at the door only. Now ain't that Something!


Perhaps the most visually exciting annual exhibit in Rio is Casa Cor. It’s interior design and much more. This year, it’s in a stately mansion at Rua das Laranjeiras, 304, a short ride (or a healthy walk) up the road from Largo do Machado. It runs through Wednesday, October 13th and is open from noon to 10:00 pm, Tuesday-Saturday; 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, Sundays. Admission is R$30, weekdays; R$35, weekends; half price for seniors. There is on-site valet parking and free shuttle bus service, which leaves from Rio Plaza Shopping in Botafogo at 1:30, 3:30, and 7:30 pm. Spaces to relax and chat, have a bite to eat or a quick drink are plentiful; the lighting of the grounds at night is spectacular. Don’t miss it!


Culture Vultures, subspecies cinephiles (Humanitas Volturius, cinis diligo), it's time to get your film freak on! From TODAY through Thursday, October 7th, the 12th Annual Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival (“Festival do Rio”) will screen over 300 films from more than 60 countries at some 40 venues across the city. Most screenings will have English subtitles. Complete information on every film is available here. Unfortunately, as opposed to recent past festivals, their 2010 website is English-light. However, here's a hint: Enter the name of a movie into a Google search, BUT add at the end “wiki” or “rotten” or “IMDB”. This will help you quickly locate Wikipedia,, or IMDB entries, where you can get read up on all the films. Or just check out local newspapers, which follow the Film Fest avidly (e.g. today’s O Globo features a complete guide). Be warned that individual cinemas may ONLY sell day-of-screening tickets and, as many do sell out, advance purchase is often your best bet. You can do so by visiting the festival's Ticket Central at the Espaço de Cinema, Rua Voluntários de Pátria, 35, in Botafogo or purchasing online at


That’s not a typo. It’s not “carefree” as in “no worries”, it’s “carfree”, meaning NO CARS. If you work in downtown Rio, then you should have noticed something different this past Wednesday, September 22nd – namely the absence of cars parked on the streets between Av. Pres. Vargas and Rua Santa Luzia. The quadrangle also bounded by Av. Rio Branco and Rua Primeiro de Março was selected by Mayor Eduardo Paes as the area where the City of Rio de Janeiro would help celebrate, for the second year running, World Carfree Day and encourage alternative means of transport, principally bicycles. Mayor Paes set a long-term goal of reducing Rio's level of auto emissions by at least 20% and has instituted several measures designed to facilitate cycling to work, rather than hopping in a car and driving. We wish him and our city well.


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