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What It’s Like to Visit São Paulo Now

The pandemic devastated the Brazilian financial capital early on, but normalcy has returned—with a few notable exceptions.

Octavio Frias de Oliveira bridge

Octavio Frias de Oliveira bridge

Photographer: wsfurlan/iStockphoto

Caroline Aragaki and Andre Romani are reporters based in Bloomberg’s São Paulo bureau.

For more than a year, Sundays on Paulista Avenue had been eerily quiet. Six days a week, the arterial corridor is jammed with car traffic; on the seventh, it’s typically shut down so pedestrians can patronize street vendors and sit at cafes for espressos and freshly cracked coconuts with straws. If large gatherings were verboten starting in March 2020, Sundays on Paulista Avenue had to be, too.