Luke DeCock

Bom dia: The sidewalks of Copacabana — DeCock

The signature patterns on the sidewalks of Copacabana are mosaics of small chunks of marble-like stone.
The signature patterns on the sidewalks of Copacabana are mosaics of small chunks of marble-like stone. ldecock@newsobserver.com

From afar, the swirls and patterns of Rio's sidewalks look like they might be painted, or poured in concrete. They're actually bumpy mosaics of square chunks of marble-like stone, in black or off-white. Always black or off-white.

The stretch along Copacabana Beach has some of the most intricate and diverse patterns of anywhere in the city, and it's the kind of thing you notice everywhere you go when you first arrive but after you've been here for three weeks becomes kind of a blur.

They can be a little dangerous, especially when wet and slick. It's surprising there aren't Brazilians walking around everywhere with broken arms, although they seem to manage.

Copacabana Beach at least has a nice paved running/biking trail alongside the mosaic sidewalk. Running a long way on an unforgiving, uneven surface would be torture, pretty as it might be.

Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, ldecock@newsobserver.com, @LukeDeCock

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