It is a major Brazilian city and has a feel of Tehran, and Bangkok with some feelings of Chicago mixed all together. (I liked Tehran and Bangkok!)
A kind of big city gritty, industrial feel with lots of wildly tangled electric wires coming from nowhere and going probably nowhere and much of the visible infrastructure looks a bit shabby.
Graffiti is in every possible space on a building and many places are in need of a good paint job. One could see the difficult economic times were here for a while already, but big cities in the USA and Europe ( ie Athens!) are like that too.
One aspect of Sao Paulo which I was impressed with is the politeness and kindness of the people there.
All the people we encountered were good humoured and smiles were generous everywhere, like Bangkok.
We took a Uber ride instead of taking a taxi or trying to figure out the metro during our stay.
Our uber driver was friendly and a very safe driver. In his very limited English, he tried to point out along our route some famous places which he knew.
We stayed in two moderate hotels in the Paulista Avenue area which is the city's upper scale neighbourhood. The hotel had a small swimming pool which I used a few times, and also a nice full breakfast buffet with some local Brazilian breakfast specialties.
We even struck up a fun conversation with a fun busboy
who practiced his English with us and told his opinions of Sao Paulo and things to do.
The other time we arrived in Sao Paulo, we stayed with our lovely friend Adilson, and we "couchsurfed" at his downtown apartment.
He invited a few of his cute friends to meet us.
Our lovely host Adilson cooked a wonderful dinner in his modest kitchen for all of us, and even offered his own bed to us, but we preferred to stay in the sitting room on the large couch.
We all tried a traditional meal at a humble local restaurant. I had Feijoada, which is a stew of beans with beef and pork, which is a typical meal. Feijoada is viewed as Brazilian soul food, as it was first introduced by the slaves.
After dinner, we went to a quaint cafe which was reminiscent of old days gone by.
It had a fun feeling and we sampled different pastries as well as the coffee.
There was a street named Calvalho street which has the gay flags and different gay establishments, near our friend's home. Sao Paulo seemed to be a very cosmopolitan city with an invitation to come and experience more!