Photo by: Letícia
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.
-- Dr. Seuss
Mr. Rant introduced me to the all powerful Vicente of Emporio my very first visit to Rio de Janeiro. If you wanted a table, you talked to Vicente. If Vicente liked you, it seemed you got a table even if there were none to be found.
He was the face of Emporio, a backpackers type of bar sitting in the heart of Ipanema. Regardless of the expensive chic places that surrounded it, Emporio manages to hold true to its rustic character and youthful environment. Foreigners and locals alike frequent this bar to the point where the street in front fills with those the full bar barfed back out again.
But the heart of the entire place belonged to the first man you saw when you entered. Sporting facial hair as unique as the man who owned it, Vicente ruled a roost full of colorful characters.
And he was the first person to make me feel at home in Rio de Janeiro. It was something so simple for him but I will always remember the moment. It was the first time someone recognized me without Mr. Rant.
I know it seems so simple but for this girl who was feeling like a lost little Gringa in a crazy Carioca world, actually being known someplace was a big deal. That was him though, a man who remembered faces and knew the people around him.
I will never forget the nights we had in Emporio with Vicente. He was a memorable character in this theater of life and a friend to many. He is also a part of my very first moments in and impressions of this Rio. I have to say, he was Rio de Janeiro's very own Sam Malone.
For those who want to pay their respects, there will be a tribute to Vicente tomorrow evening at Emporio:
Time and Date: Thursday, August 11 · 9:00pm - 11:30pm
Location: Empório (Maria Quitéria nº37)
Check here for more details: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=232375363465250