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Barra da Tijuca is a famous neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, located southwest of the city on the Atlantic Ocean. Affectionately called "Barra" by the locals, this place is known as the hottest new neighborhood, blessed with beautiful rock formations and a beach blanketed with some of the planet’s sexiest bodies. This booming outpost of large office complexes and luxury condos 10 miles west of Copacabana Beach is emerging as the latest playground of Rio’s trendiest upstarts. Barra is well known for its beaches and American-influenced lifestyle, and is commonly seen as like Miami Beach. Sports like surfing, kite surfing, and body boarding are often practiced, and are taught in numerous schools in the area. Championships (national and international) are also held at Barra da Tijuca. The neighborhood is classified as one of the richest places in the country and it has one of the highest HDI (0.959) of Brazil. Most of the millionaires and celebrities of Brazil live at Barra. With big mansions and fancy condominiums, Barra da Tijuca, is known as the place of the brazilian elite society. In 2016, Barra will abrogate the most of the sports of the Olympic games.


More about Barra da Tijuca:

Malls
The neighborhood is home to many fancy, modern and mega-malls, the most notable being the BarraShopping (the largest mall in Latin America with nearly 700 stores, restaurants, cinemas and bowling), the New York City Center, the Via Parque Shopping and the 'Downtown'. List of the most important malls:

BarraShopping
New York City Center
Via Parque Shopping
Downtown
Cittá América
Casa Shopping
Rio Design
Barra Square
Barra Garden
Barra Point
Barra World

Gastronomy
The influence of the whole world, especially from Europe and Asia, can be easily found by the presence of restaurants of many different countries. Find somewhere to eat in this neighborhood is not the hardest thing to do, the only problem is to decide where to go, and of course, be able to pay a lot of money in those one which are the best but also the most expensive restaurants of the city. There are restaurants from Italy, Japan, China, Portugal, Germany, Saudi, Australia, Finland, Austria, Spain, Mexico, France, India, Peru, Poland, Switzerland, Thailand and more.

Transportation
There are 3 main avenues in Barra: Avenida das Américas (which connects almost all Barra), Avenida Ayrton Senna (which connects Barra to Jacarepaguá neighbourhood) and Avenida Sernambetiba (photo) (which passes along the beach). In all directions, the view includes lakes and mountains, or even the sea. The connection works of Barra with the rest of the urban network, transposing the Tijuca Massif (Lagoa-Barra and Via Amarela highways) are among the most expensive works already carried out in Rio, confirming the city's road transport choice. With a good transportation system, Barra, has many bus routes and now, in 2009, the Barra's subway is being built for the Rio Olympics Games in 2016.

Education
Several universities have a campus in the neighborhood, including Universidade Estácio de Sá, Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Universidade Gama Filho, Universidade Veiga de Almeida and Instituto Brasileiro de Mercado de Capitais. The neighborhood also has the best and expensive private schools of the city.

The beach
The 18 km long beach is the largest Rio de Janeiro beach. Barra da Tijuca beach starts at Morro do Joá and ends at the Recreio dos Bandeirantes neighbourhood.

Others Curiosities
- In Barra is the largest convention center in Latin America, Riocentro;
- The famous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy Gracie Barra from Gracie Family;
- The Aero Clube do Brasil provides parachuting experiences;
- Almost 20% of the whole amount of money collected by municipal property tax is from Barra;
- Since 2005 a new Rio de Janeiro concert room is being built in Barra da Tijuca, named 'Cidade da Música' (Music City), inspired by the Cité de la Musique located at La Villette park, in Paris. The invited architect, Christian de Portzamparc, is the author of the original Cité de la Musique project. This music complex will be the largest one in America.

However the construction of the City of Music has been severely criticized by the population of Rio de Janeiro. The work is considered too expensive, and there is great suspicion of overcharging (over 300 million dollars were spent). The work is also considered non-priority, as the city of Rio de Janeiro has currently several serious problems such as large shanty towns, increasing traffic jams, hundreds of potholed streets and dark conditions, bad health care and education, widespread urban disorder; and others, which could be diluted by the huge amount of money spent on the work.

Souce: Wikipedia

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