Buenos Aires’ Local Shops And Their Stories

Los Agapantos Pork Products

Norberto has been butchering all his life. Besides the actual slaughtered animal, he also produces sausage, chorizo, and liverwurst that he sells locally. The day I was taking the photo, he had three guys helping him with the killing and gutting of eight piglets and a large boar. They were very disorganized and one of the piglets managed to jump from the truck they were being kept in and ran away. By the time I left, they were still looking for him.
San Jorge, Buenos Aires Province
2014

 

Photographer Guillermo Srodek-Hart is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  These images are from his book/project ‘Stories‘.  To see Guillermo’s body of work click on any image.

 

Adelfa’s Market All her life Adelfa dreamed of running a food store. Her father worked at the train station and her mom was a washerwoman. She started at the market when she was seventeen and has continued for over forty-five years. Adelfa was upset when I brought her a copy of the picture because her cans were not as neatly arranged as they were in the photograph. She had had eye surgery and couldn’t move much, so the place looked more disorderly than usual. She promised she would soon recover and straighten it up. Adelfa doesn’t have any children and worries that no one in her family will be interested in running the market. Lezama, Buenos Aires Province 2009

Adelfa’s Market
All her life Adelfa dreamed of running a food store. Her father worked at the train station and her mom was a washerwoman. She started at the market when she was seventeen and has continued for over forty-five years. Adelfa was upset when I brought her a copy of the picture because her cans were not as neatly arranged as they were in the photograph. She had  eye surgery and couldn’t move much, so the place looked more disorderly than usual. She promised she would soon recover and straighten it up. Adelfa doesn’t have any children and worries that no one in her family will be interested in running the market.
Lezama, Buenos Aires Province
2009

 

El Farolazo This is a bar whose clients are mostly people that work on the farms, hence the name on the wall written with farm tools. The word farolazo means “big lamp,” and it refers to the bottom of a glass of whisky seen through the light. It looks like a lamp or, in Spanish, a farol. Coronel Vidal, Buenos Aires Province 2006

El Farolazo
This is a bar whose clients are mostly people that work on the farms, hence the name on the wall written with farm tools. The word farolazo means “big lamp,” and it refers to the bottom of a glass of whisky seen through the light. It looks like a lamp or, in Spanish, a farol.
Coronel Vidal, Buenos Aires Province
2006

 

La Estrella Bakery This bakery produces enough bread and dough for the owner to drive forty kilometers each day to deliver to the larger town of Laprida. The town of San Jorge has two hundred inhabitants. It was on my second visit that I was able take the photograph, since on my first visit Hugo, the owner, was on delivery. On this occasion, the sun was coming down and there was hardly any light left. San Jorge, Buenos Aires Province 2014

La Estrella Bakery
This bakery produces enough bread and dough for the owner to drive forty kilometers each day to deliver to the larger town of Laprida. The town of San Jorge has two hundred inhabitants. It was on my second visit that I was able take the photograph, since on my first visit Hugo, the owner, was on delivery. On this occasion, the sun was coming down and there was hardly any light left.
San Jorge, Buenos Aires Province
2014

 

Bar Firpo The Bar Firpo has had its regulars for many years, mostly old guys who would meet to play cards, read the paper, and watch TV, kind of like a social club. The owner got older, and in order to avoid future family confrontations he decided to sell the bar and divide the proceeds among his heirs. The night I returned with a copy of the photograph coincided with the night the guys were having their final toast before the bar permanently closed. Whoever bought it decided to demolish it. Tandil, Buenos Aires Province 2013

Bar Firpo
The Bar Firpo has had its regulars for many years, mostly old guys who would meet to play cards, read the paper, and watch TV, kind of like a social club. The owner got older, and in order to avoid future family confrontations he decided to sell the bar and divide the proceeds among his heirs. The night I returned with a copy of the photograph coincided with the night the guys were having their final toast before the bar permanently closed. Whoever bought it decided to demolish it.
Tandil, Buenos Aires Province
2013

 

13 Hermanos General Store Norberto’s grandfather founded the general store on March 13, 1915. That first night, he counted a total profit of 13 pesos, all in one-peso coins. So he named the store “13.” Norberto Gregorio and his brother Alfonso Alberto have followed their father and grandfather’s footsteps. They say that the number 13 has been recurrent in their lives; for example, their grandfather had 13 chickens when he first came here, and also they have an aunt that was born on a 13th, as well as a granddaughter. Also, Norberto’s wife of fifty-two years worked her last day at the store on a 13th. The next day she checked into a hospital and never came back. Gouin, Buenos Aires Province 2013

13 Hermanos General Store
Norberto’s grandfather founded the general store on March 13, 1915. That first night, he counted a total profit of 13 pesos, all in one-peso coins. So he named the store “13.” Norberto Gregorio and his brother Alfonso Alberto have followed their father and grandfather’s footsteps. They say that the number 13 has been recurrent in their lives; for example, their grandfather had 13 chickens when he first came here, and also they have an aunt that was born on a 13th, as well as a granddaughter. Also, Norberto’s wife of fifty-two years worked her last day at the store on a 13th. The next day she checked into a hospital and never came back.
Gouin, Buenos Aires Province
2013

 

Bar Bessonart One of the most relevant literary texts written about the gauchos is called Don Segundo Sombra, dating from 1926. Its author, Ricardo Güiraldes, was inspired by Don Segundo Ramírez, a gaucho who used to hang out in this old bar. San Antonio de Areco, Buenos Aires Province 2011

Bar Bessonart
One of the most relevant literary texts written about the gauchos is called Don Segundo Sombra, dating from 1926. Its author, Ricardo Güiraldes, was inspired by Don Segundo Ramírez, a gaucho who used to hang out in this old bar.
San Antonio de Areco, Buenos Aires Province
2011

 

Bar Tito The owner of Tito’s Bar had had a medical problem and was unable to continue with the business. One of her sons was left in charge, but only worked on Saturdays, when the train arrives from the nearest cities full of people eager to take pictures and have a drink in an authentic farm bar. The rest of the week Gumercindo Arquímedes Rivero, a former tractor driver, is in charge of the place. As we were chatting, he stood up, poured a glass of cane rum, and left it on the far right of the counter. He came back to the table and left the tiny glass by itself. I wondered what that was all about. Minutes later, the door opened and one of the regulars walked in, sat in a chair where the glass had been left, and started sipping. Vela, Buenos Aires Province 2013

Bar Tito
The owner of Tito’s Bar had had a medical problem and was unable to continue with the business. One of her sons was left in charge, but only worked on Saturdays, when the train arrives from the nearest cities full of people eager to take pictures and have a drink in an authentic farm bar. The rest of the week Gumercindo Arquímedes Rivero, a former tractor driver, is in charge of the place. As we were chatting, he stood up, poured a glass of cane rum, and left it on the far right of the counter. He came back to the table and left the tiny glass by itself. I wondered what that was all about. Minutes later, the door opened and one of the regulars walked in, sat in a chair where the glass had been left, and started sipping.
Vela, Buenos Aires Province
2013

 

Campodónico General Store It is common for general stores to have a drinking section in the same space, but Campodónico felt different. Its decadence, in the best sense of the word, came from the strange mix of random products—tools, cookies, gas, spray paint—that would be sold next to the beer and other drinks. The last time I was there I found out the place had been closed for a while and no one could tell me if it would ever reopen. Lobos, Buenos Aires Province 2011

Campodónico General Store
It is common for general stores to have a drinking section in the same space, but Campodónico felt different. Its decadence, in the best sense of the word, came from the strange mix of random products—tools, cookies, gas, spray paint—that would be sold next to the beer and other drinks. The last time I was there I found out the place had been closed for a while and no one could tell me if it would ever reopen.
Lobos, Buenos Aires Province
2011

 

Sol de Mayo General Store The couple living in Sol de Mayo used to be neighbors deep in the countryside. They fell in love and formed a family, and when their kids started to grow up they decided to sell the farm and move closer to the town of Dolores so that the children could go to school and, hopefully, college. They bought this general store that dates from over a hundred years ago in order to be close to the town but also so they can maintain a rural lifestyle. Rte 63, km 9, Buenos Aires Province 2009

Sol de Mayo General Store
The couple living in Sol de Mayo used to be neighbors deep in the countryside. They fell in love and formed a family, and when their kids started to grow up they decided to sell the farm and move closer to the town of Dolores so that the children could go to school and, hopefully, college. They bought this general store that dates from over a hundred years ago in order to be close to the town but also so they can maintain a rural lifestyle.
Rte 63, km 9, Buenos Aires Province
2009

 

See also:

Stories

Book by Guillermo Srodek-Hart

 


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