World Cup in Washington

High Spirits – But No Beer – in Dupont Circle

VOA’s Michael Lipin reports on a World Cup viewing party held in Washington, DC’s Dupont Circle. Although sponsored by the German embassy, thousands of US fans stormed the park to cheer on their team. One German fan noted that the scene was similar to the public viewing parties in Germany, with one big difference: in Germany, he explained, the public viewing parties come with beer:

Football Favelas

Net Dreams in Brazil’s Favelas

Every time Brazil’s national team plays in the football World Cup, normal life in the country comes to a halt.  In rich neighborhoods or in poor ones, people gather together to watch the action.

Football can be the ticket out of the grinding poverty of neighborhoods like  Tavares Bastos, a poor community built on a hill overlooking Rio de Janeiro’s famous Flamengo beach.

Jugo Bonito, as the game is often called, is part of life for residents of this favela, where most people work for minimum wage or in the informal economy.

VOA’s Scott Robb takes a look here.


Beautiful Game, Beautiful City

Brasilia Hosts Football… And Architectural Wonders

Among the 12 locations hosting this year’s World Cup in Brazil, there’s one that stands out from the rest:  the capital city, Brasilia.

Now home to around 2 million people, the city on the Preto and Descobertos rivers was built 54 years ago in the country’s central highlands to replace Rio de Janeiro as Brazil’s capital. Thanks to the renowned late Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer, the city is an architectural gem.

Niemeyer, who, among other structures, conceived of the United Nations building in New York, received carte blanche to design Brasilia in the early 1960s along with planner and fellow architect, Lucio Costa

Niemeyer’s style is certainly not conventional. Take, for example, the city’s cathedral. From the outside, it’s less than impressive. Once inside, though, the light and shapes reveal themselves.

The Palacio da Alvorada, home to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, is also something to see for the 500.000 tourists expected to visit during the World Cup.

Listen and watch here as VOA’s Nicholas Pinault explores some of the sights and sounds of Brasilia’s people and architecture.