Cobblestone street

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SANTA TERESA, Rio De Janeiro

Charles Martin | Brazil

Up and away from the ocean and great spans of beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Santa Teresa is a neighborhood, often of cobblestones, that grew in the 1750s around a convent in the high hills. When a trolley car line was built in the 1870s connecting those hills to downtown central neighborhoods such as Catete and Glória, the monumental and prolific author Machado de Assis in typically ironic outlook commented that the neighborhood, which figures in some of his fiction, might, among other things, become fashionable and risk dangerous accidents of mechanical failure—both of which came to pass. Still, the yellow cars of the trolley are loved landmarks and an enjoyable, though often crowded ride, with, nowadays, taxis, cars or buses a much more efficient option.

Although its narrow, winding and often steep streets become animated some nights by the cafés and restaurants, generally Santa Teresa is relatively quiet, not isolated but something of a nook.

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