World cup was still a few weeks away. We were eating lunch in a little cafe in Recife. The food was delicious. My new Brazilian friends were delightful. The lights in the restaurant went out and the cafe owner approached our table. He spoke rapidly and seemed agitated. I don’t speak Portuguese, but my friends look concerned. I looked around and noticed that the cafe was empty. It wasn’t, just a moment before.
Gangs were coming. People were rioting. The situation was dangerous. The cafe was closing and we needed to leave.
A few days later, in São Paulo, our taxi driver told us the bus drivers were on strike. We were so close to the hotel, just one block left to go. Traffic stopped.
Let’s walk, I said.
Too dangerous. With your equipment, the taxi is the best option. Cars stopped. Buses blocked roads. It took us an hour to go one block. The city was in turmoil.
The next morning, another strike. The Police, again, in eleven Brazilian states. We may not be able to get the shots we were looking for. Crowds. Riots. Craziness.
Street performers playing cool jazz. Just another crazy day in Brazil.
I stood on the roof of an old hi-rise building,in downtown São Paulo, taking pictures and shooting B-roll video of the city. Below me I could see Police–all of them. On Strike. When I took their pictures, they were friendly and seemed rather pleased. They had nothing else to do, World Cup was still a few weeks away.