Ciro Santilli lived in Santos from about the year 1998 to 2007, there until he went to university.
The nearest beach city to the city of São Paulo, and for this reason:
- the largest port of Latin America in 2018, through which large chunks of the precious coffee export exited Brazil in the 19th century. There is a Coffee museum in Santos.
- a popular local tourist destination that gets crowded on hot weekends, with the beach line being fully built with tall buildings from the 60's, many of which became incredibly bent due to the inadequate technology used on such soft soil
Ciro idolizes Santos as the perfect location to live nature-wise due to its amazing wide sandy beach, in which Ciro spent endless hours walking on the sand and on the largest beachfront garden in the world (archive), meditating, and playing some soccer after school was over. Santos is also the city where Pelé first played professionally.
Ciro has visited Santos several times after leaving Brazil. Doing this gives him a weird feeling of having a separate life, in which time passes 2 weeks every few years.
Ciro is also fond of the concept of the small public buildings near the beach garden (postos de praia), which serve different cultural activities: library, comic book store, art cinema, surf school. It is such a shame that the library and comic book ones are in such bad shape as of 2020, old books and poor people who go there to sleep a bit in the barely working air conditioning. Ciro fantasizes how those could instead be cultural hubs for the gathering of the brightest artists, and scientists, of town. Maybe they are just too small. Maybe it is not withing the realm of possibility of public service. Maybe, we should focus instead in the poorer regions, far form the beach. But the dream remains.
Santos only has one natural defect: mosquitoes. By the sea it is fine because the wind is strong, and they don't like salt water. But anywhere else, you will be eaten, and maybe get dengue. Gene drive, please.