Flipkart is reportedly acquiring eBay’s India business

Image:  Getty Images

India’s largest online retailer Flipkart is in talks to acquire eBay’s domestic business, according to a report from Factor Daily. The deal is said to be structured as part of Flipkart’s ongoing $2 billion fundraising.

The Bangalore-based company is seen to be strengthening its arsenal to wage a war with Amazon that might soon define India’s $15 billion e-commerce sector.

EBay, which debuted in India in 2004, three years before Flipkart and almost a decade before Amazon, could never quite crack the market.

Currently, it ranks sixth in the pecking order of e-commerce firms after Flipkart, Amazon, Shopclues, Paytm and Snapdeal. Incidentally, eBay is a minority investor in Snapdeal and has made failed attempts in the past to acquire the Gurgaon-based firm.

In November 2016, eBay fired its entire product and tech team in India, except 15 officials, who were reportedly being moved to the U.S.

Mashable reached out to Flipkart and eBay for comment.

EBay does not comment on market speculations,” an eBay India spokesperson said.

Flipkart in March closed in on a $1 billion funding at a valuation of $10 billion, with backers that included Microsoft, Chinese giant Tencent and eBay itself.

The poster child of India’s startup ecosystem has been in advanced talks with multiple investors for fresh capital after talks with American retail giant Walmart for a $1 billion infusion fell through last year.

The company has had 13 rounds of fund infusion since early 2009. Late last year Morgan Stanley had slashed its valuation by over $5 billion as losses mounted and management reshuffles continued to haunt the company.

Amazon, meanwhile, continues to take giant strides in the market, growing its shipments by over 150 percent, and narrowing the market-share gap with Flipkart.

India’s startup commentators don’t seem too positive about the Flipkart-eBay merger.

One of them writes: “Culturally, the two companies are totally different. eBay is a pure play marketplace, while Flipkart is a forced marketplace due to funding structure… Its just different DNA.”

WATCH: Indian startup is using banana fibre to make cheap, biodegradable sanitary pads for women in need

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/24/flipkart-acquire-ebay-india-biz/

Readers only believe news if it came from someone they trust, like Oprah

Only trust the news if it came from Oprah.
Image:  Tim Mossholder/stocksnap

People never remember, or care, who wrote a news story they read. But they really care who shared it on Facebook.

Americans will trust that the story they read isn’t fake news if it’s shared by someone they trust, according to a new report from the Media Insight Project.

“People who see an article from a trusted sharer, but one written by an unknown media source, have much more trust in the information than people who see the same article that appears to come from a reputable media source shared by a person they do not trust,” the report said.

The Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, made a fake version of Facebook for 1,489 people. Those people saw the same stories, but the source of the reporting and the person who shared it varied. Participants answered questions about how much they trusted the news.

The stories, mostly about health, were attributed to the fake DailyNewsReview.com or the AP. But that didn’t matter as much as who shared it.

To gain trust, the story didn’t have to be from a user’s own friend or family member. Participants saw stories shared by Oprah. And if they trust Oprah, they were more likely to think the story got the facts right, had diverse points of view, was entertaining, made it easy to find important information and was well-reported and trustworthy.

Fifty-one percent of participants thought that a story on diabetes was well-reported when it came from a public figure they trusted. When it was shared by someone they didn’t trust, that number dropped to 34 percent.

That dropoff stayed around the same even when the article was written with the Associated Press as its source.

So for news organizations it matters not just how many people are sharing their stories, but who is sharing them. And you better hope it’s Oprah.

WATCH: This nail polish is made from prosecco making you both sparkly and tipsy

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/24/api-report-media-trustworthiness/

From backyard to billions: This startup is leading the game in fantasy sports

Image: fanduel

Theres a Scottish startup thats been making waves in the US fantasy sports space, and its eye is now firmly set on changing the fantasy football game in the UK.

On a journey that may seem alien to most, Edinburgh startup FanDuel began their venture in North America, and only recently brought their platform to their UK home. The company got its start back at 2009s South by SouthWest interactive festival in Texas, where its five co-founders came up with the idea of daily fantasy football during a backyard brainstorm. Making a departure from season-long online gaming tournaments, the team hit on the idea of creating shorter gameplay, with more opportunity for players to opt in on a daily basis. Its website pegs FanDuel as a new way to play fantasy fan vs. fan in a test of sports knowledge and fantasy knowhow where winners can taste victory on any given day. Not just once a year.

Fantasy sports brings a whole new dimension to the lives of sports fans whenever a fantasy team player is on the pitch IRL, theres an element of extra excitement and personal involvement for users. The company claims to have increased sports content consumption by 40% simply by making sports more exciting 60% of FanDuel users watch more live games as a result of being a FanDuel member.

From its inception until now, the company has won a variety of awards for excellence in mobile innovation, including 2016s The Webby Award: Judges Selection award for best sports app on a handheld device. Its accolades are underpinned by its impressive stats – valued at over a billion dollars after several funding rounds, FanDuel has over six million registered users and counting.

FanDuel users in the US and Canada can play in the National Football League (NFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL) and Englands Premier League. When the company expanded into the European market with its UK launch the team focused primarily on the English Premier League the Prem is a pretty big deal in the UK and its not so often youll meet a big baseball fan in the UK.

Whats in the future for FanDuel? Its heavily focused on expanding its user base the company invests heavily in advertising across its territories in order to retain its place as a market leader in the fantasy sports sector. We could see a global expansion of the platform in the future, but for now the team seems set on growing their presence back home in the UK.

Watch next: These are the two most important letters in esports

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/24/fantasy-football-startup/

You may not like Facebook ‘On This Day’ but there are many people who don’t even have it

Image: facebook screenshot

A year ago today I wrote an article about Foursquare relaunching their app Swarm.

I don’t have these launch dates memorized nor do I keep a tab of all the stories I write. I know this because of Facebook. The site reminded me this morning within “On This Day,” a feature that surfaces my own Facebook posts from that day but in years prior.

Today is the second anniversary of On This Day, a tool that Facebook has repeatedly said publicly and said to me is globally rolled out.

It isn’t.

This is not my first time breaking this very important news. Back in May 2016, I wrote about it, with the headline, “Facebook On This Day Does Not Reach All Users Even 14 Months Into A Global Rollout.

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment at that time. Since then, I’ve had conversations with probably a 100 different people at Facebook and asked them to provide me with an answer. Nada.

I even wrote an exclusive feature about Facebook’s Goodwill team and their effort to add more News Feed cards and shareable moments, similar to the fashion of On This Day. Still, they told me it was globally rolled out. Trust me. It hasn’t.

How did I make this discovery? Turns out my two best friends didn’t have the feature at the time and still today. That meant neither of them knew when our Facebook Friendiversary was (the horror!) nor could they benefit (or cry) from a daily viewing of their old posts.

Trust me, Facebook. I asked one of those friends to go to facebook.com/onthisday today and this is what she sees:

I also did a Twitter and a Facebook callout this morning. Nicholas Deleon, consumer tech editor of Motherboard, also doesn’t have access, I learned today.

Proof:

Image: Nicholas Deleon

In fact, since I wrote that story in May 2016, dozens of people have slid into my Twitter DMs or messaged me on Facebook asking if I ever found out the reason why and asking how I could get them access.

I don’t have an answer for them, unfortunately.

According to a software engineer at Facebook I spoke to, his company could be withholding access to some users in a type of experiment. But that doesn’t really make sense, he admitted, two years into the product.

Okay, so maybe it’s not the end of the world. As Deleon said, “I forgot it existed,” after he saw my Twitter callout. And I know there are many people in the Facebook world who DON’T like seeing it.

“It’s often annoying,” someone else told me.

But that doesn’t mean it’s fair to leave so many without a choice. Essentially the right to decide if they want to see their memories, whatever they may be, or not.

So please dear Facebook, tell me why.

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.

WATCH: Watch these privileged babies indulge in their very own day spa

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/24/facebook-on-this-day-two-years/

Lyft has acquired an Indian startup to improve its large-scale infrastructure

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

After its “anti-Uber alliance” with India’s homegrown cab-hailing service Ola, along with two others, Lyft is now tapping into the country’s technology talent.

The U.S. firm has reportedly acquired Pune-based startup FinitePaths, creator of Trail Answers, a Quora-like app that offered answers to user questions using social, local and contextual signals.

FinitePaths has stopped signing up new users and will shut down the app over the next two weeks. Its founders, Vinay Kakade and Balaji Raghavan, will join the Lyft team to help build its “large scale infrastructure and services”.

Prior to setting up FinitePaths in 2015, the founders worked on building large-scale infrastructure and search engines for a decade each.

Vinay served in Amazon, co-creating its CloudSearch platform and Yahoo! Research. And Balaji worked with Google before leaving as its engineering director in 2015.

Venture Beat quoted Lyft’s VP of Engineering, Luc Vincent, as saying: “We are very excited to have Balaji and Vinay join our team… We see this experience as playing a critical role in helping us tackle some of the unique challenges we have at Lyft.”

Lyft is aggressively expanding in the U.S. and claims to be servicing 37 million users now.

In a company blog titled “Lyft Crushes 2017 Goal in 3 Months” it said: “At the start of 2017, we set our sights on launching 100 new cities in one year. After rolling out the welcome mat to 40 cities in January, 56 in February, and 35 in March, weve reached over 131 new cities in three months 31% higher than our original goal.”

The ride-sharing app also witnessed a 3 percent jump in adoption due to the #DeleteUber movement in the wake of Uber’s travel ban and sexual harassment scandals last month.

Reports also suggest that Lyft might soon be looking at a global expansion to take on Uber.

In India, meanwhile, the ride-sharing space is steaming up with Uber’s continued efforts as well as Southeast Asian rival Grab‘s possibly imminent entry. And then there’s market leader Ola to contend with too.

Lyft will surely have its work cut out for it if and when it decides to launch its service in the country.

WATCH: When your Uber driver just won’t stop talking

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/24/uber-rival-lyft-acquires-indian-startup-build-infrastructure/

14 Churches Who Showed Off Their Sense Of Humor With Super Funny Signs

Whenever I’m driving around my hometown, I always know I’ll get a chuckle while passing by one of the churches in our community who are notorious for their hilariously clever signs.

Most of us think of the houses of worship as strictly business, but plenty of them are clearly capable of exercisingtheir funny bone as you can see in the creative church signs folks have spotted in their neck of the woods, too.

It’s always nice to see that on top of their weekly services and acts of kindness for their neighbors, there are those whocan also embrace their sense of humor. After all, it’s that much easier to convince someone to come inside if they’ve already got a smile on their face!

Does your church get silly with their signs? Or do you have one in your town you know will always give you a giggle?

Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE these clever examples with your friends!

1.

church

Now this is some expert level poetry if you ask me.

2.

church

You can’t deny this solid logic has a point.

3.

church

They really should have paid better attention tothe fine print!

4.

church

Their cuppeth has clearly runneth over quite enough.

5.

church

Looks like the sign guy at this church is aStar Wars fan.

6.

church

Admit it, this totally got “All About That Bass” in your head, didn’t it?

7.

church

They might be paraphrasing, but I think the sentiment definitely holds up.

8.

church

They can’t all be zingers, but thistotally gets the point across anyway.

9.

church

I have a feeling they had a similar sign during the cold winter months, too.

10.

church

I think Maury himself would be proud of the clever person behind this hilarious sign.

11.

church

Some churches even give out free samples of crackers and grape juice, too.

12.

church

A not-so-subtle reminder for those who “forget” to attend in between the holidays.

13.

church

Just imagine a world without these pesky pests swarming around every summer.

14.

church

It’s always good to have a goal in life, y’know?

Have you seen any signs that are even more hilarious around your town? Or does your churchlike to mix in some jokes on their signs, too?

Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE with your friends!

Read more: https://www.littlethings.com/funny-church-signs/

Trump card: White House plays its hand in health care battle

Washington (CNN)To make a deal, you have to know when it’s time to walk.

President Donald Trump ripped that classic move from his boardroom playbook Thursday night, seeking to splinter the resistance of House Republicans refusing to pass the health care bill that has left his new administration in limbo.
After days of trying to charm members of Congress, Trump gave them an ultimatum: If they don’t vote yes Friday, he will move on and saddle them with the shame of failing to repeal Obamacare, a cherished GOP goal.
    If Trump’s decision to call the lawmakers’ bluff delivers victory on Friday, he will establish his authority over the GOP on Capitol Hill and deliver a much-needed victory for a White House under siege.
    But if his gamble fails, he will taste a humiliating defeat that suggests that the same GOP infighting that handicapped the party while Democrats held the White House is immune to the outsider shakeup he promised for Washington.
    Trump’s bet represents his most audacious risk yet in a presidency built on his own conviction that his superior negotiating skills can unlock an era of congressional inertia and pass laws that will reshape the nation.
    Since its supporters still don’t have the votes to pass the bill, it also amounted to the first and perhaps most crucial test of the idea that his “Art of the Deal” business approach can translate to politics.
    Repeatedly on the campaign trail, Trump boasted that he makes “great deals” and lambasted the negotiating skills of his predecessor President Barack Obama — for instance over the Iran nuclear deal, as he argued he would have driven a much harder bargain.
    “In negotiation, you must be willing to walk,” Trump said in a major foreign policy speech in April 2016.
    “The Iran deal, like so many of our worst agreements, is the result of not being willing to leave the table.”
    On Thursday night, Trump turned those tactics on his own side.
    But the scale of his wager was clear when House Speaker Paul Ryan could not say whether the bill would pass or fail.
    “We have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law, and tomorrow we’re proceeding,” a terse Ryan told reporters.

    Winning is easy, governing is harder

    The high-stakes meeting of Republicans Thursday night, including dueling factions of Freedom Caucus conservatives and Tuesday Group moderates, followed days of intense political intrigue as the bill’s fate hung in the balance, and came after repeated changes to the legislation designed to win over holdouts.
    This was not how the new Republican order was supposed to dawn. Instead of a united push towards a GOP holy grail, repealing Obamacare, the drama exposed a dangerous fault line in the party.
    The desperate scramble for votes, conflicting signals, factional intra-party warfare, and the defiance shown by rank-and-file members to their leaders signaled that one-party rule may turn out to be just as complicated as life in a Congress where Democrats and Republicans share power.
    But really, it shouldn’t have been this hard.
    The idea of repealing Obamacare has galvanized the GOP for years, is demanded by the party’s raucous base and looked certain to be one of the easiest lifts for the new White House and its Republican majorities.
    After all, the GOP voted more than 50 times to repeal Obamacare or parts of it — though always knew it would ultimately be thwarted by the Senate or Obama’s veto.
    But Trump and Republicans are learning that votes cast by a governing party are tougher than those made in futile protest.
    Until a vote occurs, Ryan is in a position familiar to his often infuriated predecessor John Boehner — who endured political and fiscal cliffs and running showdowns with the ultra conservative Freedom Caucus while he was speaker.
    Boehner predicted last month that Republicans would never repeal Obamacare, but would end up fixing it — because they would “never ever agree what the bill should be.”
    “Perfect always becomes the enemy of the good,” he said, prophetically.
    Ryan’s difficulty in changing the equation that often frustrated Boehner suggests that his caucus remains as unsuited to governing as the one that eventually brought Boehner down.

    Not everyone charmed by Trump

    All day on Thursday, there came word of increasing frustration among party leaders on the Hill and the President’s associates in the White House at the malcontents of the ultra-right Freedom Caucus.
    “It’s fairly amazing that even after meeting with President Trump, they are holding out for removing health care from people with preexisting conditions, something they know could never pass and goes against everything President Trump promised during the campaign,” one GOP aide told CNN’s Lauren Fox.
    Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows diagnosed the problem: “We have not gotten enough of our members to get to yes at this point.”
    The situation placed the political interests of Freedom Caucus members, who fear primary challenges from their right, and Tuesday Group members who fear the price to be paid if the bill ejects millions from health care rolls, against those of the new President.
    It may be that repealing Obamacare will come back to haunt Trump in the long term. But for now, the President needs a political win to steady his administration, which is reeling from speculation about his campaign’s ties to Russia, the double failure of his travel ban and his own penchant for setting off self-defeating political controversies.
    The high stakes for Trump were evident on Thursday night, when top aides including Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway were spotted heading into the meetings with Republican lawmakers.
    His budget director, former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, delivered the threat: Vote for the bill or be “stuck with Obamacare.”
    Trump has hosted multiple meetings at the White House and blitzed lawmakers with charm and persuasion.
    But every concession Ryan and Trump mooted to members of the most conservative faction, they risked ebbing support from moderates.
    And it looked for hours on Thursday that the White House was oblivious to the ebbing support for the bill.
    The tug-of-war between the factions angered some other Republicans who are not part of either faction and resent their influence, like Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne.
    But Byrne predicted that when the bill finally came to the floor, political reality would kick in.
    “If you are a Republican you have one choice. You’re either going to vote with Donald Trump to repeal and replace Obamacare or you’re going to vote with Nancy Pelosi to defeat the only bill that will repeal and replace Obamacare. And if you’re a Republican, that’s a pretty simple choice.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/23/politics/trump-health-care/index.html

    San Francisco: Insider Travel Guide

    (CNN)San Francisco is small by urban standards, a compact swath of rambunctious hills, windswept bays and rainbow-colored Victorian homes. But it’s seen enough upheaval for a town twice its size.

    And it’s been the adopted home of numerous seismic social — and geological — movements.
    As a result, San Francisco is a crossroads of commerce and counterculture, suffused with noir moodiness as well as Gold Rush bravado.
      Just remember that San Fran’s weather has mood swings that are as complex. To avoid becoming one of those sullen tourists shivering in shorts and a T-shirt as the fog crawls around their ankles, bring a sweater — as well as these suggestions for experiencing the best of San Francisco.

      Hotels

      Luxury
      Palace Hotel
      The Palace’s ceiling is worth more than some entire hotels.
      With a soaring stained glass ceiling, marble floors and mammoth chandeliers, the Palace summons the San Francisco of yesteryear.
      It should: it was built in 1909 to replace an earlier version gutted by fire following the infamous 1906 earthquake.
      It isn’t difficult to imagine a long, eclectic roster of high-profile guests that includes Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, author Oscar Wilde and four standing U.S. presidents taking high tea in the Palace’s celebrated Garden Court.
      Located downtown, the Palace provides easy access to public transportation, cabs, museums and the waterfront.
      You can even do some sightseeing without leaving the premises: the hotel runs historic tours three days a week.
      Mid-range
      Hotel des Arts
      With each of its rooms custom decorated by artists both local and international, the Hotel des Arts is part hotel, part art gallery.
      Guests can bed down in settings conceived by the likes of Brian Barneclo, Jeremy Fish and Shepard Fairey.
      Never heard of ’em? Rest easy, they create pretty surroundings.
      Take heed, though: unlike the deluxe rooms and suites, standard rooms share a community bathroom and shower.
      Located downtown, de Arts is within walking distance of Chinatown, North Beach and Union Square is and surrounded by places to eat and drink.
      Grand Hyatt San Francisco
      It’s tough to decide which is the more potent lure here — the hotel’s shop-and-attraction-friendly Union Square location, or the recent renovations.
      All 659 guestrooms have been updated.
      Great staff and famed Hyatt pillow-top mattresses help make the Grand Hyatt a reliable place to do everything from sip martinis to hole up flicking channels in high style.
      Expected business amenities are all here — conference rooms, Uno-Bitell Media phones (sounds impressive), in-room Wi-Fi — along with the refurbished Grandviews Restaurant, which serves fresh California cuisine in a 36th floor dining room with, you guessed it, grand views.
      Budget
      Grant Plaza Hotel
      The exception is this affordable semi-gem inside the Chinatown gate and just a block from a cable car line.
      Rooms are functional if dated (the hotel’s website still touts “clock radios” as an in-room amenity) but the place is clean and within walking distance of many restaurants and bars.
      For the price in one of the most expensive cities in North America, it’s an unbeatable deal.
      All rooms are non-smoking.

      Dining

      Boulevard
      Touting itself as “one of the most popular restaurants in America” (we don’t necessarily disagree), Boulevard is among the best places in the City to close a business deal or a new romance.
      The “Belle Epoque-inspired,” 64-seat restaurant serves a unique fusion of French/European and modern American cuisine.
      Roasted beet salad with Spanish goat cheese, and rabbit and wild greens tortellini are nifty.
      But Boulevard is at its best when serving up big chunks of grilled and roasted meats: lamb, pork, beef and local fish are what bring in the crowds.
      Elegant, pricey and pretty close to perfect.
      Reservations a must.
      Sons & Daughters
      You’ll get a sense of Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty’s culinary sensibilities when you enter their TenderNob premises: stylish without trying too hard.
      Their deconstructed American dishes are creatively prepared and presented, making them as lovely to behold as to eat.
      The menu is seasonal, offering two choices: a tasting menu and a vegetable tasting menu, with many ingredients harvested from Sons & Daughters’ own garden in nearby Los Gatos.
      Since it opened, the restaurant has garnered a number of accolades, including a Michelin Star earned after just one year in business.
      Changing tasting menus are offered daily for $98 with the option of a $69 wine pairing.
      Gary Danko
      Named after its founder, one of the country’s most respected chefs, this classy, 65-seat eatery spins out meals that combine Danko’s classical training in French and Mediterranean cuisine with California ingredients and innovative spirit.
      You could live for a year off the appetizer menu: pistachio-covered sweet breads with cauliflower, goat cheese “truffles” and the like.
      The entre selection includes many fresh seafood and meat options.
      The roasted pork belly comes with red peppers and a maple-cider glaze, for just one example.
      There’s also a large, high-end wine and cheese list.
      Reservations a must.
      NOPA
      There are many of its kind in this city, but NOPA is San Francisco’s best at serving familiar, hearty and thoughtful versions of what it calls “urban rustic food”: wood-roasted salmon, grass-fed hamburgers and rotisserie chicken.
      The small bowls of spiced chickpeas are seasoned to perfection and make a wonderful pre-meal snack.
      Cocktails are also expertly prepared, and like the food, not overworked.
      NOPA is in high demand and doesn’t take reservations, but the vibe encourages patrons to pull up a seat at its expansive bar and sample the snack menu while waiting.
      Una Pizza Napoletana
      Anthony Mangieri’s unadorned shop, with its concrete floors and bare white walls, quickly earned acclaim among San Francisco’s (many) artisanal pizzerias for its slavish adherence to the craft.
      Mangieri reigns in the middle of it, making pizzas before an immense wood-fired brick oven, his arms covered in tattoos.
      This master pizza-maker has more than once been referred to as a rock star of the genre.
      Like the space, Mangieri’s pizzas are unadorned and perfect: anointed with San Marzano tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, fresh garlic, basil and sea salt.
      Humphry Slocombe
      Humphry Slocombe ice cream isn’t afraid to shock, either with the names of its ice creams or their flavors.
      Take Jesus Juice, for instance: a sorbet of Ctes du Rhne and cola.
      Or the shop’s most popular flavor, Secret Breakfast: caramelized corn flakes in a cloud of whiskey ice cream.
      They’ve also served up scoops of foie gras ice cream, prosciutto ice cream and salt and pepper ice cream.
      Humphry Slocombe has earned the right to these quirky flavors because they’re actually good.
      Really good. Like, kill-the-guy-before-you-in-line good.
      Off the Grid
      Perhaps the only thing that has multiplied faster in San Francisco than artisanal pizzerias is food trucks.
      There are Southern trucks, cupcake trucks, taco trucks, rib trucks, Thai trucks, noodle trucks, pizza trucks — there’s even a truck devoted solely to the food meme bacon.
      While most trucks alert fans to their whereabouts via Facebook and Twitter, the easiest way to sample several at once is at events organized by Off the Grid, which assembles numerous vendors in one spot for weekly markets throughout the city.
      Often accompanied by live music, these gatherings take on a festive vibe.
      It’s hard to resist sampling more than one truck, so it’s best to arrive hungry.
      El Farolito
      Super shrimp and carnitas burrito from El Farolito.
      Overstuffed, rolled tight and wrapped in a sheath of tin foil, the massive burritos served at this Mission taqueria are cheap, delicious and filling.
      While excellent at any time of day or level of sobriety, El Farolito’s dependably delicious hunger bullets are particularly satisfying after a night of drinking.
      Good thing it’s open late.
      El Farolito serves up all the usual meats like carne asada and al pastor, but you can also get cabeza (beef brain) and lengua (beef tongue).
      The squeamish shy away, but they are impossibly tender and juicy.

      Nightlife

      Comstock Saloon
      Named for Henry T “Pancake” Comstock, the man whose fortunes lured thousands of miners to San Francisco in the 19th century, this North Beach saloon is a refined tribute to those rough Barbary Coast times: dim lights, tin ceilings, classic cocktails and ostentatious wallpaper.
      The bar also serves period-inspired food, like beef shank and bone marrow potpie.
      On Friday, Comstock revives a Gold Rush tradition of serving a free lunch with the purchase of two drinks.
      The deal almost makes more sense for travelers than locals, who may have to return to work with a brace of stiff cocktails in their system.
      DJ Purple Karaoke
      Many flinch at the word “karaoke,” which can conjure visions of poorly warbled Journey and “Total Eclipse.”
      But DJ Purple (aka Steve Hays) is a Bay Area treasure, and he serves up a karaoke dance-party that reinvents the maligned medium.
      DJ Purple favors upbeat songs and loud music, putting the focus on the crowd rather than the individual, inspiring group sing-alongs and nonstop dancing.
      Oh, and he also plays the saxophone — often the highlight of the evening.
      DJ Purple Karaoke, multiple nights, locations; budget (free to sing, but tip your karaoke jay).
      Tommy’s Joynt
      While complicated cocktails with organic ingredients may dominate the San Francisco drinking scene, Tommy’s Joynt proudly declares on its website, “We remain steadfast in our opposition to change.”
      This large, wholly unpretentious family-owned spot is cluttered with fascinating bar junk, pours an impressive array of beers and serves meals like corned beef from its cafeteria-style buffet to be eaten on tables adorned with red-and-white-checkered table cloths.

      Shopping

      Valencia Street between 14th and 26th
      This trendy corridor of small boutiques embraces everything from clothing and letter-pressed cards to taxidermy and books, much of it locally made.
      Carefully curated used clothing stores like No Shop and Painted Bird are extraordinarily well priced.
      Paxton Gate conjures oddities like carnivorous plants, while its children’s store provides lovely toys of the non-plastic variety.
      The Curiosity Shop sells jewelry and trinkets as well as local art.
      Dog Eared Books is the kind of store that’s fun to get lost in for an hour or so.
      826 Valencia sells a gallimaufry of goods dubbed “pirate supplies.”
      Coffee shops like Four Barrel and Ritual Roasters plus plentiful eateries supply ample shopping respite.
      Valencia Street between 14th Street and 26th Street
      Green Apple Books
      Can any city really be great without a really great bookstore?
      A rambling, multi-story shop with a winding staircase and secluded corners, Green Apple Books is the kind of experience that unfolds as you make your way from front to back.
      Browsing and hanging out are encouraged, with chairs tucked away in remote spots, where patrons can leisurely thumb through a book on the occult, a massive photo compendium, a young-adult hit or a biography.
      With books both new and old, there doesn’t seem to be a subgenre — or price point — unrepresented.
      Japan Center
      Chinatown isn’t SF’s only Asian community.
      The Japantown mall is a series of buildings connected by courtyards and bridges filled with small shops and eateries that peddle Japanese wares.
      PIKA PIKA specializes in whimsical Japanese photo booths where users can snap pictures of themselves then print the results as stickers.
      Ichibahn Kahn and Daiso are Japanese dollar stores that sell a dizzying array of adorable, affordable items.
      Bookstores stock manga and Japanese editions of magazines like Vogue.
      Several variations of the pillow candy mochi can be purchased at Nippon Ya.
      Meticulously crafted fake foods adorning the windows of sushi and noodle spots rank as bonus sightseeing.

      Attractions

      California Academy of Science
      The California Academy of Science has mastered the modern museum experience: immersive and interactive without being gimmicky, there’s not an animatronic statue to be found.
      Located in Golden Gate Park, the museum is easily identified by its massive, undulating living roof.
      Once inside, visitors can tour a living rain forest, fly through space in the planetarium or descend to the darkened aquarium with its hypnotic displays of jellyfish, alien-like sea dragons, an octopus, electric eels, an anaconda and piranhas.
      CAS is a functioning research facility, so employees can often be spotted performing taxidermy on a number of specimens.
      The Presidio
      A former military base near Golden Gate Park, the Presidio is filled with distinctive low-slung, white buildings that served as army barracks.
      The tree-filled park packs in wonderful hiking and biking opportunities, sweeping vistas, beaches and marshes.
      It’s also home to a military cemetery — including a pet cemetery where the army buried beloved animal companions.
      Homemade tombstones and memorable epitaphs abound.
      George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic is headquartered here, its Yoda fountain having become a favorite stop for Star Wars fans.
      Post-hiking cocktails can be enjoyed at the charming Presidio Social Club, which boasts a historically themed drink menu.
      Presidio Visitor Center, 105 Montgomery St.; +1 415 561 4323
      Filbert Steps
      San Francisco’s famously hilly geography is crisscrossed with hidden, meandering staircases whose seeming impracticality is part of the appeal.
      The Filbert Steps are the most magnificent.
      They begin in a plain alleyway flanked by office buildings.
      Surrounded by lush greenery, concrete steps give way to wooden ones, climbing up, up and up through a hillside neighborhood dotted with beautiful and quirky homes, statues and gardens.
      Discoveries abound: the green and red parrots of Telegraph Hill overhead, a mural celebrating miniature poodles and fantastic views.
      Finally, the stairs spit you out at Coit Tower, a monument to firemen with Depression-era murals inside.

      Counterculture

      But the city became the unique enclave it is because of the people and cultural movements that shaped its character.
      Here are a few places where you can experience them.
      The Audium
      Visitors seeking vestiges of San Francisco’s bohemian heyday should skip Haight Street, unless they want to battle crowds for bongs and tie-dyed shirts.
      Attendees of this half-century-old sound experiment sit in a dark, domed theater, surrounded by 176 speakers and listen to creator Stan Shaff’s mind-bending arrangement — a mixture of electronic music, giggling children, galloping horses and other sounds — while a light show plays overhead.
      The performance can tread into kitschy territory, but Shaff’s ingenuity and dedication somehow elevate it.
      Shaff might not call the experience “psychedelic,” but upon exiting, many an audience member will deploy the word “trippy.”
      It’s certainly representative of the city’s permissive, experimental spirit.
      GLBT Museum
      The GLBT History Museum is the first of its kind in the U.S. and only the second in the world (after Berlin).
      Opened in 2011, the GLBT Museum (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender) was decades in the making and was the first of its kind in the United States.
      A project of the 25-year-old GLBT Historical Society, the 148-square-meter space provides an intimate, handcrafted experience located in San Francisco’s historically gay neighborhood, The Castro.
      Drawing on the society’s vast archives, the museum displays a wide-ranging menu of artifacts from matchbooks and manuscripts to Harvey Milk’s kitchen table.
      Knitted together, the objects tell a larger story.
      You can download the free museum tour to enhance your experience, and check out the roster of events for author talks and panels.
      Vesuvio Caf
      In North Beach, you’ll find these two paeans to Beat culture on opposite sides of Jack Kerouac Alley, named for the literary movement’s iconic pioneer.
      City Lights bookstore will forever retain an air of daring and notoriety for publishing Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” and weathering the storm that followed, including a high-profile obscenity trial.
      The bookstore remains a cultural hub and favored destination for bibliophiles.
      Down the street, you can grab a drink at Vesuvio, a bar famed for serving the literati of the Beat Generation.
      Despite its tourist appeal, it’s a neighborhood saloon where drinks are strong.
      On the mezzanine you can claim a private corner where you can drink and spy on the patrons below.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/29/travel/insider-guide-san-francisco/index.html

      Santiago: Insider Travel Guide

      (CNN)Head east and in no time you’ll reach the Andes; west and you hit the beaches and coastline of the Pacific Ocean.

      It’s worth putting off Chile’s other attractions a few days to get to know the best of Santiago’s culture, food and pulsing nightlife.
      There’s a boomtown feel around Santiago these days. The national economy is buoyant, corruption is low and the city’s infrastructure is solid.
        The past decade has seen countless bars, hotels and restaurants open. Here’s where to find the best of Santiago:

        Hotels

        Luxury
        The Aubrey
        The Aubrey exudes class — and arches — inside and out. It is made up of two 1920s mansions. Like a family home, the heart of the hotel is a large staircase.
        Wide hallways come off each landing with art deco furniture, inviting you to sit back and take advantage of the constant supply of tea, coffee and fresh baked items.
        The dark wood paneling is offset with block colors, printed fabrics and crystal chandeliers.
        The restaurant opens onto a cobbled patio and outside there’s an outdoor swimming pool with massage jets.
        The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago
        In the center of the wealthy El Golf neighborhood, the 205-room Ritz Santiago delivers on the luxury and service of the well-known brand.
        Among features are four restaurants serving top Chilean cuisine, a spa, more than 9,000-square-feet of meeting space, rooftop fitness center overlooking the Andes and many rooms with tourist-board views of the Santiago skyline.
        Among numerous awards and recognition, Travel+Leisure picked it as a top 10 hotel in Latin and South America for 2012.
        Mid-range
        W Santiago
        The W sits in Las Condes, the commercial part of town.
        Modern and slick, rooms have full-length windows looking across the sprawling city.
        There’s a feeling among many business travelers that this is the place to be.
        A highlight is the roof terrace with infinity pool.
        A heli-pad lets high rollers escape the city without thinking about things like traffic — that means in winter being on the slopes in 90 minutes.
        Lastarria
        Hotel Lastarria is a best of Santiago boutique hotel.
        With just 14 rooms, it’s cozy.
        The antique furniture, thick curtains and sense of elegance recall colonial times.
        There’s a leafy outside area where breakfast is served in summer.
        The location is great, right in the heart of the bohemian Lastarria district and surrounded by shops, cafes and art galleries.
        Noi Vitacura
        Lot of nice rooftops in Santiago.
        Add the Noi Vitacura to the list.
        Opened in July 2011, Noi Vitacura is located in the upscale Alonso de Cordoba neighborhood.
        Its 88 rooms are modern, with lots of bare wood, statement art pieces and large baths.
        There’s a spa, two restaurants and roof terrace with comfy lounge chairs and tables with very cool inbuilt fire pits.
        Budget
        Departmentos Amoblados Costa Belles Artes
        Not a hotel, these furnished apartments are well maintained, centrally located and come with a helpful staff, laundry facilities and room service.
        Apartments have TVs, kitchens and a clean yet homey feel.
        The property is within walking distance of Palacio de la Moneda, Santa Lucia Hill and other landmarks.
        A great bargain in the capital for many satisfied travelers.

        Dining

        Sukalde
        In his mid-30s, Mexico City native and Sukalde owner/chef Matas Palomo calls the secret to his success a “knowledge of flavor.”
        He came to Chile at age 17 and fell in love with the local cooking traditions and ingredients, which he uses to stunning effect in his Chilean fusion cuisine.
        There’s lots of seafood on the menu, as well as novel creations such as organic salad with king prawn, rice paper and truffled vinaigrette.
        There’s a fun drink list, too, that includes papaya and calafate sours.
        Reservations recommended.
        Puerto Fuy
        You’ll find lots of seafood at this long-established best of Santiago award-winner.
        What the restaurant describes as its “modern French” cuisine might take in anything from Patagonian hake with ratatouille and yellow tomato coullis to abalone served with a cilantro, parsley and olive oil sauce to superb grilled meats.
        You’ll find a variety of restaurants along Nuevo Costanera, so if Puerto Fuy is full or the menu doesn’t appeal, you should find something nearby.
        El Jardn de Epicuro
        This fun, fashionable place has a nice selection of tapas (ham, seafood, cheese, tortillas, tostadas), as well as heartier grilled meats and fish.
        The bar serves a variety of excellent piscos.
        The warm brick-and-wood interior will make you want to hang out for a while.
        Gaston Acurio
        Astrid y Gastn is the Latin American chain sensation at the forefront of the upscale Peruvian cuisine movement that’s taken hold across Spain, South America and parts of North America.
        Maize, potatoes and quinoa take care of the starches.
        From there the cuisine might best be described as Peru-meets-the-world. Roast lamb, duck, abalone, foie gras, even shrimp-stuffed ravioli make their ways onto the menu.
        Don’t be put off by the “chain” description.
        Chef/co-founder Gastn Acurio is a celebrity chef often described along the lines of a Latin American Jamie Oliver and his upscale restaurant is a best of Santiago experience.

        Nightlife

        De La Ostia
        There’s high energy and generally a happy crowd at this informal neighborhood favorite that does excellent sangria and pisco sours.
        Fans often describe the vibe (and sangria) as more Spanish than Chilean.
        The tapas are decent (calamari, tortilla with potato and chorizo), but this is mostly a place to hang out for a few rounds.
        Restaurant Opera
        The Opera Catedral’s upstairs restaurant is also a winner.
        Of many excellent bars in Lastarria, Opera Catedral is a classy pick.
        With wood paneling and wood ceiling, the medium-sized drinkery showcases a variety of live music, from DJs to torch singers.
        There’s a good restaurant on the top floor.
        La Piojera
        This “100 percent Chileno” bar might seem rough around the edges to some, but if you’re looking for an easy authentic local experience (yes, it’s touristy, but locals come as well), this is a good place.
        The big draw is the Chilean national cocktail, the “terremoto” (earthquake).
        It’s intended to make you feel shaky afterward.
        The terremoto is made with a sweet, fermented wine called pipeo and served with fernet alcohol and pineapple sherbet or sorbet in a large glass.
        You get an “aftershock” (same drink, half the amount) following the first round.
        This is without doubt a best of Santiago experience and not to be missed.
        Bocanriz
        This chic, modern wine bar is the place to do it.
        The special flight of six Chilean wines are each paired with a light tapas.
        Club La Feria
        Santiago’s nightlife doesn’t get a lot of international hype, but the late-night club scene in the capital can stand toe-to-toe with any on the continent.
        Club La Feria is the reigning DJ, dance and light-show champ.
        It’s loud and has plenty of scenery to gawk at, but the smallish club fits only 250 people.
        That means the dance floor is PACKED.
        Show up before midnight and you’ll hear crickets chirping.
        As at most Santiago discos, the heavy activity gets going between 2 and 3 a.m. (And ends at 5 p.m., when bars close in the city.)

        Shopping/Attractions

        Pueblito Los Dominicos
        This cute, adobe-and-tile-roofed craft market is the place to browse and buy small gifts and souvenirs: clothes, fabrics, ceramics, paintings, furniture, carvings, glasswork, more.
        A series of stalls in a small village-like setting sell crafts made by more than 150 Chilean artists.
        There are relaxing outdoor cafes in the complex with coffee and empanadas.
        Plaza de Armas
        As in nearly all colonial South American cities, the Plaza de Armas is at the heart of the historic center.
        This is the point in the capital from which all distances in Chile are measured.
        Known as downtown, there’s plenty to explore, lots of points of interest and steady people watching.
        The neo-classical Catedral Metropolitana has a spectacular eighteenth-century Baroque interior.
        The Palacio de la Moneda is an eighteenth-century neoclassical building that serves as the presidential office.
        A few blocks away (follow your nose) is Mercado Central, one of Chile’s largest fresh seafood markets.
        Amid rows upon rows of stalls are restaurants, some behind smell-proof glass windows, others in the open. Either way, it’s a great place for an impromptu lunch.
        La Chascona
        The former home of Chile’s poet and Nobel Laureate, Pablo Neruda, quirky La Chascona is filled with odds and ends collected throughout his life that provide a glimpse into the poet’s mind.
        Located in the arty district of Bellavista, it’s a 10-minute walk from the Mapocho River.
        Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts
        The Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts houses more than 3,000 works, making it one of the finest collections in South America.
        In addition to an impressive collections of works by Chilean and Spanish artists, the museum has a comprehensive collection of Asian pieces.
        It’s located in a fabulous Beaux-Arts building dating to 1910.
        The museum itself was established in 1880, making it the oldest in South America and among the continent’s most important.
        Chilean national Museum of Fine Arts, Parque Forestal s/n., Casilla 3209; +56 2 499 1600
        Parque Metropolitano
        From San Cristobal hill and Parque Metropolitano you can sometimes see clear to the Andes.
        But the nearby views are worth the walk, too.
        Panoramic views of the city are worth the walk up Cerro San Cristobal Hill, 300 meters above the city.
        The park area is pleasant. A white statue of the Virgin Mary overlooks the city. On a clear day, the views stretch to the Andes.The park and hill are crowded on weekends.
        If you don’t feel up to the walk, there’s a cable car to the top or you can grab a can or minibus.
        However you manage, this is a best of Santiago landmark that shouldn’t be missed.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/29/travel/insider-guide-santiago/index.html

        So Paulo: Insider Travel Guide

        (CNN)With all there is to see and do in South America’s largest city, the sheer size of the metropolis often stuns the uninitiated visitor.

        Don’t despair — getting to the locations that showcase the best of So Paulo isn’t as hard as it might seem.

          Hotels

          Luxury
          Hotel Fasano
          Stepping through the entrance of the Hotel Fasano, you’re transported to the early 20th century, when a hotel experience was geared toward wealthy travelers expecting luxury.
          Warm, wooden decor and a grinning bartender convince you that wherever you’d planned to rush off to can wait.
          Guest rooms are no less alluring, a mix of modern and ’50s style mod, full of amenities like iPod stations, soaking tubs, towel warmers and panoramic views.
          Outside its walls you’ll find all the additional luxuries of So Paulo’s best neighborhood on the famous street, Rua Oscar Freire, and surrounding roads.
          Hotel Unique
          Architecture critic Paul Goldberger has called Hotel Unique “one of the seven wonders of the modern world.”
          Is it a ship? Some kind of space vehicle?
          Guests might never figure out what the massive, metallic semi-sphere is meant to be. But inside this best of So Paulo hotel there are plenty of interesting spaces in which to contemplate the question, including poolside on a rooftop deck that overlooks the lovely Jardins area of the city.
          Emiliano
          If you’re touring So Paulo by helicopter (which is best, considering the traffic), you’re in luck at the Emiliano; this hotel has a private, rooftop helicopter pad.
          Staff will arrange for an attendant to unpack your suitcases and a chauffer to drive you around the city.
          In house is the Champagne & Caviar Bar and upscale Emiliano Restaurant.
          But the hotel is on Rua Oscar Freire, known for its high-end shops and restaurants, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to continue a spree once you walk outside.
          Mid-Range
          Staybridge Suites So Paulo
          Conveniently located in the Brascan Century Plaza, which has a movie theater and a number of restaurants, the Staybridge is close to one of So Paulo’s biggest business districts.
          The modern design of the rooms against a backdrop of the city skyline creates a cool, urban feel.
          The Staybridge has a gym and outdoor swimming pool (unheated, so beware before you jump in during the surprisingly cold So Paulo winter).
          Mercure So Paulo Jardins
          This member of the Mercure chain is in Jardins Paulista, close to So Paulo’s best restaurants and stores.
          Hotel amenities include a gym, indoor swimming pool, sauna and a business center.
          But since you’ll spend most of your time on the streets, it works well as a comfortable place to check your emails and rest your head.
          Budget
          Ibis Budget So Paulo Paulista
          What was formerly the Formule 1 Hotel — built specifically for guest overflow during the Formula 1 season — is now managed by Accor Hotels.
          The accommodations are basic, but the Rua da Consolao location means it’s within walking distance of a number of neighborhoods and the subway.

          Dining

          D.O.M.
          “Restaurant” magazine named this sophisticated Brazilian eatery, helmed by chef and author Alex Atala, the sixth best in the world.
          Dishes use ingredients unique to Brazil, such as mushrooms from the Amazon and the medicinal beldroega from the Northeast.
          These delicacies are best enjoyed in a tasting-menu format so you can sample a maximum amount of flavors.
          Make reservations as soon as possible — locals sometimes wait months for a table.
          If you don’t score a table at D.O.M., around the corner you’ll find Dalva e Dito, Atala’s other restaurant.
          D.O.M., Rua Baro de Capanema, 549, Jardim Paulista; +55 (11) 3088 0761
          Vento Haragano
          Churrasco is Brazilian barbecue, but churrascarias take this simple concept to an extreme: various cuts and categories of meat are served at your table by an endless (until you end it) parade of wandering waiters.
          The prime cut is called picanha (beef) — request it before moving on to other options.
          Tip: don’t be too tempted by tapas placed on your table by the restaurant’s crafty staff — save space for the good stuff.
          For the meat-averse, Vento Haragano — an obvious best of So Paulo pick — has an extensive salad bar with nearly everything else imaginable, including sushi, fine cheeses and antipastos. The restaurant also has a good selection of wines.
          There’s an additional advantage for those traveling with children: a huge second-floor playroom complete with monitores (baby sitters) to keep the kids occupied.
          Terrao Itlia
          Thanks to the large number of Italian immigrants in town, there’s no lack of cuisine from the country.
          What Terrao Itlia has on its competitors in the category, however, is the best view in So Paulo.
          From both the 41st-floor restaurant and the 42nd-floor bar you can see a mile past forever while enjoying the restaurant’s Tuscan fare.
          A stroll along the walkway outside will show you just how massive the city is.
          Mercearia do Conde
          The food is as appetizing as the atmosphere.
          Mercearia means “grocery” and the establishment started out as a grocery store, then eventually evolved into a full-fledged eatery.
          You’ll find both familiar and unfamiliar dishes on the fusion menu. An adventurous start would be the mix de entradas da casa (appetizers of the house) as a preview of the restaurant’s eclectic options.
          Feijoada da Lana
          Dried meat stew accompanied by beans, rice, the root-based farofa, fried collard greens called couve and sometimes a few slices of orange makes a simple, yet surprisingly delicious meal.
          Feijoada da Lana serves a top-of-the-line version of the dish buffet-style, with a variety of complimentary cachaa (sugar-cane liquor) to accompany it.
          Meals start with sopa de feijo, a black bean soup to which you can add garlic, green onions, bacon and even a bit of the cachaa.
          The restaurant is rustic and offers garden-style seating as well as tables indoors.
          Tip: you may find yourself waiting for a seat on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the traditional days for feijoada feasting.
          Bar do Man at Mercado Municipal
          The mortadella sandwich is a famous So Paulo snack that uses a pile of Italian bologna-type sausage of the same name.
          There are a number of places to pick one up at the Mercado Municipal, the city’s largest food market, but the most traditional is at the famous Bar do Man, a best of So Paulo establishment that claims to have been stacking these sandwiches since 1933.
          The most popular version is served hot with provolone cheese. It’s customary to drink it with chopp — Brazilian draft beer.

          Nightlife

          Boteco So Bento
          A boteco is a corner bar where you might catch a group of elderly men drinking cachaa at any point during the day.
          But in So Paulo, trendy “botecos” have fabulous food, creative caipirinhas (a cocktail made with cachaa and fruit) and live music.
          Boteco So Bento is one such establishment that has capitalized on the concept.
          It has everything a neighborhood boteco offers, but with more selection and sophistication, and still makes for a great local hangout.
          Casa de Francisca
          This Jardins home-turned-art-house-music-establishment is low key and cool in the way only a place that caters to old-school, alternative Brazilian jazz can be.
          With tiny tables and a limited menu, the focus isn’t on coziness and cuisine (although the food, such as house-made gnocchi, is delicious).
          No, when the lights go down and this multi-level space glimmers from its antique chandeliers to its candle-lit table lamps, the mood is beyond luxurious.
          Tip: If you can’t secure a reservation, you can try asking about cancellations before they open the doors.
          Alberta #3
          This bar is named after Bob Dylan’s cover of “Alberta” and the chill mood matches the music honored.
          The place transforms from pub to nightclub as the evening rolls on.
          You’ll catch the hip, indie Brazilian crowd mellowing out until the dance tunes begin.
          This is one of the best places in So Paulo for balada, an all-night party destination for young paulistanos (the demonym given to local residents).

          Shopping

          Havaianas
          This ultra-comfortable flip-flop made of rubber from the Amazon now comes in far fancier options than the ones made famous in its original line.
          At the flagship store on Rua Oscar Freire, you can create a custom pair or just trick out an existing sandal.
          The shop also sells custom-made socks for these stylish sandals.
          Tools & Toys
          Need a new yacht?
          Perhaps your helicopter is out of fashion?
          Located in the ultra high-end Shopping Cidade Jardins, this best of So Paulo shop has plenty of big-ticket toys to choose from.
          Even if you’re not in the market for a new Sea Doo or Ferrari, it’s fun to look around.
          Tools & Toys, Shopping Cidade Jardim, 3/F, Av. Magalhes Castro, Morumbi; +55 (11) 3552 4000
          Boutique Daslu
          If your shopping objectives include Brazilian fashion, the best place to go is Boutique Daslu, where everything “in” is in the store.
          The Daslu brand’s original style reflects the high-end trends of the city.
          Boutique Daslu, Shopping JK Iguatemi, Avenida Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek, 2041, Vila Olmpia; see website for additional locations; +55 (11) 3152 6601
          SP Night Market
          Every month this shopping event brings together a number of boutique outlets in one hip, best of So Paulo location.
          The theme is fashion and food, with vendors selling clothing, jewelry, accessories, art, wine, gourmet snacks, sweet treats and more.
          Expect a welcome cocktail (free with admission) and some live music to loosen up your wallet.
          SP Night Market, location and times vary, see website for details; R$20 ($10); +55 (11) 97962-1547

          Attractions

          Ibirapuera Park
          Often compared to New York’s Central Park, this attraction has all you’d want from a city park, including museums, planetarium, caf, concert hall and plenty of space to ride bikes, walk and play.
          Famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer designed the buildings throughout Parque Ibirapuera, which means more than just the trees are aesthetically pleasing.
          More on CNN: The legendary buildings of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer
          Warning: the park gets crowded on weekends.
          If you like your space, weekday or early Saturday morning visits are best.
          Museum Afro Brasil
          To understand the deep heritage of the Brazilian people, you must examine centuries of its history.
          The best place in So Paulo to do so is the Museum Afro Brasil.
          From the enchanting to the disturbing, this collection of paintings, costumes, indigenous and religious artifacts, and photography will immerse you in the story of how African and indigenous people influenced all that is today’s Brazilian culture.
          It takes a couple of hours or more if you want to see it all; the museum has multiple rooms and levels, plus exhibit space.
          MuBE
          The Museu Brasileiro da Escultura is home to works that represent the contemporary pulse of the Brazilian artist.
          Graffiti, multimedia and giant three-dimensional structures are just some of the visual sustenance you can consume at the museum.
          Attached to the exhibit space, which includes a sculpture garden, is a restaurant where you can pick up some delicious Brazilian snacks or a full meal.
          The museum hosts theater productions, music performances and movies.
          Museum of Futebol and Pacaembu Stadium
          There’s a common passion that holds the country together as a united front against all who would oppose it — futebol.
          You’ll have a hard time finding a Brazilian who doesn’t follow a team.
          To get to know the most important Brazilian pastime, the Museu do Futebol is the place to visit.
          Inside Pacaembu Stadium, the museum hosts a number of high-tech and interactive exhibits that lead you through the history of the sport.

          Coffee in So Paulo

          Brazil is by far the world’s largest producer of coffee.
          The development of So Paulo has been heavily influenced by Brazil’s coffee boom in the early 1800s.
          Today, coffee is a big part of the social scene.
          Brazilians love the drink and the city has some exceptional places to enjoy a cup.
          Coffee place to see and be seen.
          Santo Gro
          At this popular coffee house, it’s not just about the caf, but seeing and being seen.
          The shop on Rua Oscar Freire is most often frequented by high-powered executives conducting private deals and ladies of luxury taking a break from their buying sprees.
          You can buy sacks of the shop’s signature beans to take with you.
          Santo Gro has a light menu and delicious juices.
          It also offers a nice selection of wines, which means the shop stays busy from morning until the twilight hours.
          Octavio Caf
          Not your typical coffee house, Octavio’s structure is expansive and shaped like a giant coffee bean.
          It’s really more of a full-fledged restaurant than a caf. It even has a happy hour.
          The draw is the coffee and beans that come from Predregulho, Alta Mogiana, the region that’s famous for fabulous coffee.
          The seating is set up for all sorts of scenarios, including business meetings or enjoying a cup alone.
          Suplicy Caf
          The place to jump-start your day… or afternoon… or evening.
          Founder Marco Suplicy comes from a long line of people with interest in coffee, and his pleasant shops reflect his passion for the brew.
          The best of So Paulo caf in Jardins caters to visitors to the shopping district.
          In addition to a cup of coffee, you can get some smoothies and juices. Menu options are limited to what is in the glass case — mostly breads, sandwiches, quiches and desserts — but the shop’s blend of Brazilian beans is so savory you’ll want to grab a bag for the road.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/29/travel/insider-guide-sao-paulo/index.html