Niterói, with an approximate population of 500 thousand people and the city where Luiz and I live, just celebrated its 435th anniversary on November 22nd. Founded in 1573 Niterói was the capital of Rio de Janeiro state until 1975.
In the language of its founders - the Tupi Indians – Niterói means "hidden ground water." (Fun facts to know and tell.)
Most residents, when teased by cariocas (residents of Rio) that the “only” good thing about Niterói is its spectacular view of Rio de Janeiro, will blithely remind their tormentor that Niterói is ranked by the United Nations Human Development Index as the third best city in Brazil for quality of life – and first in Rio state.
We love it. And we especially love our neighborhood Icaraí. We are perfectly located for shopping, busses to anywhere, proximity to the beach and the aforementioned spectacular view, and it seems we are in a professional medical offices ghetto. Everything we need is within a few blocks of our apartment.
Niterói has ocean beaches, natural areas, historic sites, numerous museums (including the famous MAC – Museum of Contemporary Art), great boutique as well as mall shopping, lots of free concerts and other events, and an enthusiastic, if not always champion, School of Samba: Viradouro.
Works for us.