If I told you that a bar in Milwaukee has constructed a fake Brazilian "favela" (slum) in its rear alley to attract viewers of the World Cup you'd probably think I was kidding. Which is too bad, because a bar in Milwaukee has constructed a fake "favela" in its rear alley. It's really "authentic", with fake laundry strung across the fake windows. It will be just like being poor but with flat screens everywhere and $9 microbrews on tap.

The Nomad event includes the temporary construction of a courtyard viewing area inspired by the colors and spirit of the mountainside "favelas" of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The "Nomad Favela" takes over an adjacent parking lot and consists of a surfboard bar, a Belair Cantina taco shack, and large outdoor space to view all of the tournament's soccer matches on six large televisions. The unique space is the collaborative effort of a small group of volunteering artists and craftspeople and includes several from Makerspace.

The Nomad's own website, which I refuse to dignify with a link, refers to it as their "shanty town":


No word yet on whether makeup for donning blackface will be provided or if any of the 99.99% of Brazil that is Not Favela will be represented in some way. This is one of those instances, not unlike when frat kids decide to have a "Pimps and Hoes Party" or something equally racist, in which I can't believe that a large number of people were involved in the planning and execution of this idea and not one of them said, "Hey maybe this is in poor taste." Then again, this is the city that birthed that stillborn homunculus Scott Walker into the political world. Maybe we shouldn't be shocked.

What should the Nomad do next? Fake ghetto for the NBA Finals? Faux trailer park for the Daytona 500? Replica igloos for the Stanley Cup? The possibilities for creativity in staggeringly poor taste are limitless!

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67 Responses to “LET'S PRETEND WE'RE POOR!”

  1. mothra Says:

    I find it interesting that many of the comments here are indignant that Ed should suggest that a beer would cost $9 at this particular bar. Now that's a priority!

    But, having read the story linked by jeneria, I see that the bar owner isn't really trying to recreate poverty, but what he views as part of Brazilian cityscape and which fit in his area. And let's face it, favelas ARE a prominent part of any Brazilian city. But they aren't fun happy places (although people can have fun and be happy-ish there), so his idea was ill-conceived, that much is certain.

  2. zombie rotten mcdonald Says:

    Dave, I am a huge fan of the Waco Brothers.

  3. zombie rotten mcdonald Says:

    Now that's a priority!

    well, it is in Milwaukee.

    Although the Nomad isn't exactly the cheapest bar around either.

  4. Lawrence Says:

    Everybody hates a tourist.

  5. El Guapo Says:

    Yeah It really is not that big of a deal —-

  6. Dewey Gland Says:

    Best thread on G & T in a long time. Croatia wuz robbed!

  7. democommie Says:

    I'm just putting this in because some people were talking about Milwaukee, Waukesha and Walker:

    from a jsonline piece about a-double-standard-in-waukesha-stabbing-case-

    As for the folks who run the Nomad:

    ""We weren't expecting the criticism," said Keanen Kopplin, the Nomad's general manager. "(The favela) was supposed to be a celebration and complement to the spirit of Brazil."

    Kopplin noted that decorating the bar in the theme of another country is something of a tradition for the Nomad.

    "We want to represent everyone," Kopplin said. "We want everyone to be comfortable."

    Despite the uproar, Kopplin said the pub has no plans to take the favela down.

    The 20th World Cup opens Thursday in Rio de Janeiro."

    from another article at jsonline

    I'll stick with my previous assessment of their behavior. Assholes.

  8. PJF Says:

    Judging by your snotty Walker remark, I'm guessing you have no idea that the Nomad is on the snobby East side where all the liberals hangout. I doubt a Scott Walker supporter has stepped in the place for years, so leave us out it ok?

    Of course what -ism is it to assume every racism incident involves Republicans? Pot meet kettle, bigot.

  9. zebbidie Says:

    Of course what -ism is it to assume every racism incident involves Republicans?


  10. Brian M Says:

    Zebbidie: That shows an amazing lack of (self?) awareness.

  11. skwerlhugger Says:

    I went to a county fair-type event outside Boston once (Topsfield Fair, for you keeping track). It still hung on to the old-style concept; 4H exhibits with shriveled beans and rotting tomatoes, whack-a-mole on the midway, flea-bitten petting zoo, donkey rides with one having a remarkable organ almost dragging on the ground, music acts you thought were dead. Good stuff. Prominent in one of the kiddie sections was a giant inflatable slide in the shape of a tilting, sinking ship's deck, and on the stern– HMS Titanic. Think about it. This was in about 2003, by the way. 50 years from now–the WTC bungee jump. Bad taste is eternal and universal.

  12. Kaleberg Says:

    This is like getting pissed at Mozart for his failure to properly depict life in a royal Ottoman harem. People often romanticize things that really shouldn't be romanticized, but why get upset at a Haitian restaurant because it doesn't accurately reflect the poverty of Port au Prince and its plumbing meets western code? I remember my parents getting misty eyed about Fiddler on the Roof during its original Broadway run which is kind of sick when you think about it. It was romanticizing an apartheid ghetto, an impoverished farming life and a cultural community whose members would soon all be tortured and murdered, except for the lucky ones who would be forced into exile.

    Surely, there are some people who have managed to have fun in a favela. It isn't hell 24/7. Given how many Brazilians, even relatively poor ones, are soccer fans and like to drink alcohol and fruit drinks, odds are some of them are going to be watching a game or two at their local tavern. Why ruin a luau because the Hawaiian aristocrats treated commoners like animals?

    If this were a museum exhibit, I'd argue differently. It's a goddamned bar. Why not fantasize a bit? I appreciate a bit of irony. Hell, I was hoping the new World Trade Center would have a bar, The Flight 175 Lounge, built into an aircraft fuselage sticking out at of the 95th floor where I could order an Osama bin Laden.

  13. democommie Says:

    "Hell, I was hoping the new World Trade Center would have a bar, The Flight 175 Lounge, built into an aircraft fuselage sticking out at of the 95th floor where I could order an Osama bin Laden."

    Right. The difference between that and the favela "tableaux" is that it's highly unlikely anyone will threaten the lives of the people associated with the Nomad because they are insufficiently PatriotiKKK.

    I asked upthread if a depiction of a ghetto or some other "neighborhood" would be okay and got no answer. So, what do you think? Is a fake, "death camp" or a fake "Gitmo" OK? If not, why is the favela OK?

  14. zombie rotten mcdonald Says:

    I asked upthread if a depiction of a ghetto or some other "neighborhood" would be okay and got no answer.

    I answered, democ. I said "You mean like Sesame Street?"

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  16. Truth McGee Says:


    Dear gin and tacos/trust fund babies,

    “It’s honoring the hardworking people of the favelas of Brazil. It’s like having a little piece of Brazil in Milwaukee and that pleases me,” -Cassio Muniz (a Brazilian)

    Enough said…

  17. Burry Says:

    Thank you!