A summer deluge engulfs Buenos Aires. Streets flow like rivers, storm drains erupt skyward, the smooth stone vertical facades of buildings rippling as if an ocean surface. We’re told the restaurant is a brisk thirty-minute walk from our apartment, yet the rain continues to fall. The tarmac and pavements outside resemble a glass patchwork of nightlife in motion.
The Old Argentine Stock ExchangeBarnaby Jaco Skinner / Nikon D850 / 70 - 200 f2.8 / Beunos Aires
Old being the opperative word. The exchange was upgraded to digital and moved to another room in the building whilst this analog stock ticker paradise exists for the few left who still work here.
The World's Most Beautiful Book StoreBarnaby Jaco Skinner / Nikon D850 / 14 - 24 f2.8 / Buenos Aires
We leap fathomous puddles, narrowly avoiding attempts by zealous bus drivers to drown us. Winding through the back streets we pass barred shop fronts selling everything from cigarettes to sim cards to silk stockings. Orange street lamps light the scene with a moody glow, wrinkled faces framed perfectly by rusting iron work lashed to window frames. Adjacent to the sim cards and stockings, the whimpering elite of a 5-star hotel shelter from the onslaught under large-ribbed black umbrellas.
San TelmoBarnaby Jaco Skinner / Nikon D850 / 70 - 200 f2.8 / Buenos Aires
Where the normal people live.
MinimercadoBarnaby Jaco Skinner / Nikon D850 / 35 f1.4 / Buenos Aires
A table of smokers perched on the curb side emerge in the distance. Cigarettes clutched in one hand, wine glasses in the other they chatter and laugh obnoxiously as if that moment right there and then was all that mattered. Evidently we’ve arrived at our destination; Argentina’s gastronomic ode to its much-loved national hero, Eva Peron. Ms Peron evidently still commands a faithful and sizeable following – it’s taken us weeks to get a table at Peron Peron.
Once A Post OfficeBarnaby Jaco Skinner / Nikon D850 / 35 f1.4 / Buenos Aires
The underbelly of a whaleBarnaby Jaco Skinner / Nikon D850 / 70 - 200 f2.8 / Buenos Aires
More of an Aladdin’s cave than modern bistro, Peron Peron could well be a tourist hotspot if it weren’t for the army of locals at every table. We’re seated at a low table in the centre of the restaurant, four of us surrounded by wild-eyed Argentine compatriots chugging mammoth beers and gnawing on a myriad of meats and cheeses. I begin to eyeball the people sitting nearest us in the hope I might learn more about this iconic destination, but the entrée arrives saving them from a very-British grilling. We’re presented with a beautifully mangled mess of meats, cheeses, and vegetables accompanied by stiff local beers and loose red wine. It’s all huge and delicious and we demolish it as if starved animals, ordering more as we go.
San Pedro González TelmoBarnaby Jaco Skinner / Nikon D850 / 14 - 24 f2.8 / Buenos Aires
The Finance MinistryBarnaby Jaco Skinner / Nikon D850 / 14 - 24 f2.8 / Buenos Aires
Our eyes now more accustomed to the dim light of this local haunt, we get a chance to survey our surroundings. The walls are adorned with antique curios of times past, a lucid collection of reds and browns framing creams and blacks, candlelight shadows flickering in the warm evening draught and, as if on cue, a roar erupts from the surrounding void – our wild-eyed compatriots joining voices in unison for a sing-along.
Waiting For A CoffeeBarnaby Jaco Skinner / Nikon D850 / 35 f1.4 / Buenos Aires
An Iron GateBarnaby Jaco Skinner / Nikon D850 / 35 f1.4 / Buenos Aires
The air shakes as fists pound tables, plates bounce as if on springs, wine glasses snatched close to avoid spillage and finally loudspeakers burst to life all around the restaurant, crackling and scratching as they punch out a socialist march for all to hear. Feet pound the floor as low gruff voices lead a rendition of Argentina’s vox populist anthem: a song of love, of struggle, of pain, of comrades-in-arms saluting their ever-lasting matriarch. Tonight, The People sing for Evita.
Perón PerónBarnaby Jaco Skinner / Nikon D850 / 50 f1.4 / Buenos Aires
“I know that, like every woman of the people, I have more strength than I appear to have.”