My cousins live on a narrow street in Casa Verde, a small neighborhood in the north of São Paulo. It is a place swarming with neighbor-kids, lined with flat faced houses, dogs barking through fences, and grandmothers hanging wet clothes out to dry.
On the first day of the 2014 World Cup, my cousin's street was lined with uneven ribbons of blue, yellow, and green and the cracks in the asphalt were covered up by enormous flags. Above, scraps of green and yellow plastic decorated the sky. Plumes of smoke rose from the barbecue pits and cigarettes, mixing into the smog of the city. Across town, a stadium humming with Brazilian bodies in yellow jerseys waited for the games to begin, while my cousin was trying to maneuver the car into the garage.
It's a tight squeeze and she has to get out to open the gates. The dog, Liz, runs out in a green and yellow jersey, barking excitedly at the distant sound of fireworks. A ball rolls past the front of the car and a boy from the house across the way runs after it, narrowly slipping through my cousin's body and the front of the car.