In Brazil, the Pay Phone Lives!

Apparently, the pay phone is not dead. Everywhere you go in Brazil, you will have the opportunity to speak from a pay phone sheltered by one of the best-known examples of Brazilian design: the orelhão (pronounced o-re-LYAO), or big ear. They are literally everywhere, and it’s a striking thing to see in 2012. I was in São Paulo last month and the orelhões on Avenida Paulista had been turned into a temporary exposition I later found out was called “Call Parade”. Each orelhão had been painted by a different artist:

Orelhões are iconic, and unlike pay phones in nearly every other country I’ve visited, seem likely remain a part of Brazil’s built environment for some time. When’s the last time you used or even saw a pay phone?

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