Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
June 20, 2004
Niemeyer’s brilliant concept for the museum is not to be missed. Standing on the edge of a rocky cliff across the bay in Niteroi, the museum looks as if it’s poised to take off into space and never return. Indeed, any sci-fi fan treated to a glimpse of this awesome sight would be willing to give up their most treasured possessions (like, say, still-in-the-box action figures from the first Star Wars film) to hear the tales that Jules Verne or Isaac Asimov could spin about this unique structure.
Unfortunately, the museum itself was closed for new installations when we visited, so the farthest we were allowed inside was the bathrooms. To be honest, the main reason we took a trip out here was just to see the building itself, so we weren’t all that disappointed. Even if the museum is closed, you’re free to walk the grounds and snap all the photos you’d like. Plus, you get to take a charming bus ride back to the ferry. You’ll wind your way through a largely residential section of Niteroi with colonial-era housing before ending back up at the waterfront. Before punching your ferry ticket, take a little time to walk around Niteroi, browsing the nearby malls and street stands.
Niemeyer, easily Brazil’s most recognized architect, isn’t done yet in Niteroi if he has his way. Proposals are currently being drawn up for a new cathedral, conference hall, offices, and a municipal center. Hey, when you have the high-tech aid of an alien race, there’s no stopping you!
From journal Thumbs Up Rio!
London, United Kingdom
May 27, 2003
The truth is that Rio has a thriving arts scene. Writers and painters are drawn to this city and a wealthy middle-class means there is more income to spend on art then other cities. Contemporary art can be found in the galleries of Ipanema but also across the mighty Guanabara bay at the Museu de Arte Contemporanea in Niteroi. Niteroi is a kind of mini Rio with mountains, hotels and beaches facing it''s glittering sister across the immensity of the waters of Guanabara.
I told a Carioca friend that I had visited Niteroi and he laughed.
"The best thing about Niteroi is the ferry back to Rio..."
Cariocas don''t think much of the place and treat it like the dull brother. We visited on our way back to Rio on the SouthAmericaExperience bus (see Ilha Grande journel) and I kept thinking that I would like more time there. More manageable then the metropolis Niteroi boasts that much derided/envied "quality of life" argument where the rents are cheaper, the traffic less and the pace of life slower.
But Niteroi puts up a brave fight. . Niteroi is worth a days excursion and the ride on the ferry with the Rio skyline retreating and appearing is an amazing spectacle. Ferries are caught from Praca 15 Novembro in Centro Rio and take half an hour. These cost 0.50 reals and are used as commuter boats. The 741 bus from Copacabana also goes to Niteroi and crossing the gigantic Niteroi bridge.
It''s a very small place and dominated by it''s huge half moon beach. Concentrate on your suntan here and enjoy the views across the bay as the water is polluted. It is also refreshingly free of the hawkers that concentrate on Ipanema and Copacabana. But whever you are in Niteroi your eye will be drawn to a flying saucer perched on cliffs above the beach - this is the Museu de Art Contemporanea. Built on a sheer cliff above the beach the museum is stunning (see photo) and resembles a spaceship reached by art deco ramps and spirals. It has to be one of the most striking buildings in Brazil and was the brainchild of Oscar Niemeyer who was the man who designed Brasilia.
Since visiting the Tate Modern in London I''m rather partial to modern art. For two reals I wandered around the galleries which were worth the price of admission on their own for the views out of the window. The main gallery was a soft lighted oval affair with sculptures of surreal spiders. The upper gallery had picture windows and travelled the circumference of the flying saucer. Artworks on show included floor-art, maps made out of amusing Brazilian phrases (which the guide translated for me), paintings of bugs having sex and a cloak made entirely of cigarette ends. This smelled to high heaven.
Yes, but sweetie, what can I say? It''s art.....
From journal Rio de Janeiro: South America's Glittering Star
Chorley, United Kingdom
October 24, 2002
Just go there, even if you're not into art, but having said that the building is a work of art in itself. It's designed by Oscar Niemeyer who also designed many of Brazil's capital 'Brazilia's' buildings.
There're also good views from the Museum, you'll be able to see the Sugar Loaf, and maybe even the Christ Statue (but then you can see him from most places).
To get there, either go on an organised tour, or hop in a taxi; I'd advise you get your taxi driver to wait for you while you mooch around, as there are no taxis waiting outside.
If you do take a taxi, you'll pass over the Rio-Niterói bridge, which stretches over the Guanabara Bay. Otherwise organised tours are more likely to take you there by ferry.
From journal The 'Real' Rio
March 29, 2002
MAC stands for Museum of Contemporanian Art and has three floors. But somehow the best ouvre-d'art is outside, at the Bay where the round building lays on. And the view to the Sugar Loaf and the Christ, of course.
From journal Niterói: Rio with a view