In the morning, unload your groceries from Rio Bonito (32–86 47th St., Astoria; 718-728-4300) and make a picnic breakfast: fresh white cheese and goiabada marmalade on Brazilian challah and suco de caju (cashew juice). Slather on tanning oil and wriggle into a string bikini. The only way to wear it is like a Brazilian: Know that what you may not have in beauty you make up for in sass. Take the A to the 116th Street stop near Rockaway Beach and walk ten blocks west. It’s certainly not Ipanema, but it’s full of expat Brazilians who gather here to play volleyball and plan out their nights—the parties at Life (30–07 Newtown Ave., Astoria; 718-626-9100) and Black Betty (366 Metropolitan Ave., at Havemeyer St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-0243) are the most authentic. The naturally jovial bunch will be receptive to your small talk: Offer that you’re excited to see Seu Jorge, the bossa nova–ist locally known for singing Bowie covers in Portuguese, at Central Park SummerStage. Catch a train to Nolita in time to watch the futebol game. BarBossa (232 Elizabeth St., nr. Prince St.; 212-625-2340), the Rio-in-the-sixties boteco, is the place to go—just don’t knock over the shrine to Pelé in a fit of cheering. Later that night, ask the bartender at Esperanto (145 Ave. C, at 9th St.; 212-505-6559) if he’ll pour a few shots of cachaça com mel (honey and firewater), so that at Baraza (133 Ave. C, nr. 9th St.; 212-539-0811), the neighboring Latin enclave where the drink wait is long, you can head straight for the dance floor, to samba and bate-coxa (literally, bang thighs). There, greet friends enthusiastically, like you haven’t seen them in ages, with double kisses. Laugh too boisterously, and make mischief all night.
Pretend You’re in Brazil...
’Tis the season to eat, drink, make love on the dance floor, and worship soccer.
Summer Stuff for Last-Minute Planners, Students, Workaholics, and the Jitney-Averse
• Agendas for Hipsters and More
• How to Pretend You’re In Brazil
• Ten Thermometer-Tested Cool Escapes
• The Best Summer Reading
• Ten Great Nano-Vacations
• Rent a Summer Place After All