Helo Pinheiro is an Ipaneman woman who inspired one of my favourite songs ever, ‘The Girl From Ipanema’, a bossa nova jazz standard written in 1962 that now has with hundreds and hundreds of recorded versions. Here is the fabulous first ever one…
Despite it’s beauty and fame due to the song, poor waste management and treatment means that pollutants are dumped into the sea at Ipanema Beach causing concern for ecologists.This is due to the fact that millions of homes are not properly connected to waste treatment systems, and in addition, rubbish is swept into the sea.
Photo is a screenshot from an ITV video found here
Apparently the word ‘Ipanema’ comes from an extinct language of the native Tupi people and means ‘stinky lake’ or ‘bad water’ a definition that is unfortunately prophetic. Coastal pollution is a global problem and none of it is acceptable but it seems even more tragic that a beach known for its beauty is also becoming known for its accumulating waste. When will we learn?
Studland Bay, Dorset, UK is owned by the National Trust so there is little development on the dunes and by the look of this photo, the beach seems relatively pristine. I would just love visit and stroll along here, perhaps singing a song a bit like this… ‘look at the stars / look how they shine for you…’
Photo of Studland Bay courtesy of Trip Advisor found here
What’s so great about Studland Bay? Apart from its seemingly untouched dunes (which I absolutely adore – give me a ‘pure’ beach anyday!) it is the location of the Coldplay music video ‘Yellow’.
It’s a fabulous song – enhanced by the one-shot video of a solitary figure strolling in slow motion along a deserted beach as the light (post-production trickery apparently) changes from dark grey to light grey, fortunately never once even flirting with a hint of ‘yellow’ as we might expect from the song title. Interesting, though, that in the photograph above the sand is in fact golden (yellow?) whereas in the video the weather dulls it down considerably.
Suits my feelings about life at this point – solitary, slow-motion, grey with a touch of hope from time to time. Learning to accept the past and that we are all flawed, we all cause and feel pain, we are all heroes and villains, all day long.
Haven’t swum for ages… but perhaps I can still be a bit beachy (nearly) every day, (or some days), by finding out about a beach somewhere, sometime (perhaps in summertime) from time to time. Doesn’t have to be a beach as it is now, in the present, because now is weird. Blink and you miss it. And, how soon is now? (He’s the son, and the heir, of a shyness that is criminally vulgar. He’s the son, and heir, of nothing in particular). Thinking Morrissey may have been a beach-goer I tried to find out what his favourite beach might be as that could make an interesting starting point for the revitalised ‘beachaday’ blog. Perhaps Redondo Beach? Maybe? In 2004 he covered a 1975 song of that name by Patti Smith.
Photo of Redondo Beach in 2015 by Steve McCrank from here. The palms look ok but I’m not too keen on the power ‘plant’ that sprung up behind them.
And here’s the Morrissey / Patti Smith song. Spoiler alert… it’s sad. No surprises there.
Redondo Beach is in Los Angeles, California, just left of the headland in the satellite photo below. The modified coastline on the right is Terminal Island next to Long Beach.
According to Wikipedia, Redondo Beach had a population of 603 in 1890 and has a population of about 70,000 today. The population expansion is in part due to the region attracting immigrants in the early 1900s and it is now a mixture of several European cultures as well as African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific people from Samoa and the Hawaiian Islands. It also has a ‘sizable’ Native American community. Sounds interesting, I’d love to go there!
It’s also mentioned in the BEACH BOYS song Surfin’ USA.