São Paulo is mind-bogglingly enormous. (Click on the panorama below to embiggen.)
Twenty million people. The skyscrapers stretch to the horizon. The traffic jams are awe-inspiring. At one point, on the “Marginal” (pronounced “mar-zhee-NALL”; think of it as a combination of Cobb Parkway and I-75), I counted twenty lanes of traffic! Ten in each direction. All stopped. Y’all complaining about Atlanta traffic… just hush.
Travel times dominate where you can go in a city like this. We stayed in Jardim Paulista, one of the nicer residential areas of the city, but getting to other neighborhoods could easily take an hour. Depending on the weather and the time of day, driving around the block (and you have to drive around the block, because many streets are one-way) can take twenty minutes. There’s a clean, efficient, modern subway system, and it helps, but it’s still a very automobile-centric city.