Wednesday, August 3, 2016

"The Girl from Ipanema"

Heloisa Pinto, inspiration for
"The Girl from Ipanema"

Heloisa Pinto with some guy.

Today I walked from Copacabana to Ipanema and I was on a mission. My destination was the bar where the song "The Girl from Ipanema" originated in 1962. This bossa nova classic - the second most recorded song in history behind "Yesterday" - was part and parcel of my childhood as it was played repeatedly at home. 

I found the bar and knew that Heloisa Pinto, the inspiration for the song, had a boutique nearby; turns out it's next door. I had seen her picture online and was startled to see her inside. As I started to enter her boutique, she was joined by a man and they left right in front of me. Squandered opportunity of a lifetime, I thought.

But no, this one was meant to be. 

They went into the bar next door, were joined by another man, and began to sit down. The server asked me where I'd like to sit; instead I gestured towards Pinto with my phone and he said, knowingly, "Ahhhhhh."

Apparently they've been down this road a few times before.

He arranged for her to join me, and her friend took the photos. Helo - her nickname, one which I'm free to use now that we're such good buds - was nothing but gracious and welcoming, asked me where I'm from, and what sports I will see in the Olympics.

All this on a day when I was given a senior discount without anyone asking my age! I assure you, I'll gladly balance that with the rest of what the universe offered me today.

"Tall and tan and young and lovely..."

Yes, she is.

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