NPR logo

Copacabana: The Beach Still Sways to Samba

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6463384/6463385" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Copacabana: The Beach Still Sways to Samba

World

Copacabana: The Beach Still Sways to Samba

Copacabana: The Beach Still Sways to Samba

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6463384/6463385" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Coconut-festooned kiosks on Rio's Copacabana beach will be torn down.

Coconut-festooned kiosks are coming down on Rio's Copacabana Beach, making way for newer, more upscale cafes and concessions. Julie McCarthy, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Julie McCarthy, NPR

In the daily drama of the world's most fabled beach, visitors should expect the unexpected. Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana still wears a 1960s look, with its low-slung kiosks serving up nickel beers and fresh coconuts — for now.

Surveying beach-goers on the facelift that's consigning old-fashioned concession stands to the dust-bin, it's the seamier side of Rio life that comes into focus: Cops arrest black kids for no apparent reason; small girls aggressively hawk snacks and knick-knacks; a woman rails at the high cost of morgues and burials for the poor.

Flying a black flag, a concessionaire laments the demise of his beachside bar to richer corporate concessions that cater to tourists rather than the locals.

Meanwhile, a sidewalk samba band plays on — and plans on doing so, fancy new businesses or no.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.