CultureGeorgia Graham

Dimes NYC, #2

CultureGeorgia Graham
Dimes NYC, #2

Cedar Tavern, Cabaret Voltaire, Café de Flore; for years the progression and development of new art and ideas has been synonymous with café culture. Replace the green fairy with green juice and you have today’s modern equivalent – a downtown New York dining establishment where novel ideas are served up by a team of young New Yorkers, each with their own creative agenda.

Here some of the city’s newest creatives can be found waiting tables and stirring drinks, offering a slice of the avant-garde as a side to Dimes’ already colourful menu.

Aerial East

Tell us about your work. 

I moved to NYC when I was 18 and I've always been a singer, but I didn't intend to pursue music as it thought it was a long shot. I quickly met a lot of musicians who I started working and playing with.

I never sit down and try to write a song, I usually just write songs when I’m feeling really sad, sort of as therapy. I'll write the melody and lyrics together and record it into my phone.

I have a band, called Aerial East - we had a show at Bowery ballroom on October 24th.

How did you begin working at Dimes?

I've known Sabrina and Alissa for years; I used to work with them and then they opened their own restaurant, which was the coolest thing ever! 

Sabrina was the only employee for the first week and had no idea what it was going to be like. I told her that if she needed any help she could always call me - and she did!

How do you balance it with your music?

It's a pretty flexible schedule - if I need to get off because I have a show it's pretty easy to find someone to cover, as people working there understand that we're all doing creative projects on the side.

One of your videos features Dimes?

Dimes is a very enchanting place, so we wanted to shoot there. Sabrina said yes, so we met there to start the day. We had breakfast and then shot the scene.

I get embarrassed when I'm at Dimes and people talk to me about my music - I love Dimes but I like to keep it separate, but it's a lovely place to film in and to be in.

Would you ever collaborate with someone from Dimes?

I have thought about it. I'm really interested in what Elijah does. I've become obsessed with Cassi's pots. Sometimes I dream about them because I think they are magical and so beautiful - I've thought about having an image of her pots as an album cover. I'd also like to do something with Sara - everyone that works at Dimes is so talented.

How does Dimes influence you?

If I’m ever thinking about interior design I think, "What would Sabrina do?" I feel very inspired by everyone's style who works there - everyone has such great style!

Sabrina and Alissa used to be where I am, and now they are the bosses! People who are working there and doing creative things are succeeding in their creative endeavors.

What’s the best thing about working at Dimes?

Sabrina and Alissa - I really love working for them - I never worked in a restaurant that had a concept, something that I really felt connected to. I care about it a lot, and I've never felt that way about a restaurant job before. And I feel like it cares about me too!

What’s your favorite thing on the menu?

Lately I've been having avocado and a side of bread with pesto - that's been my go to meal. 

If someone gave you a 10,000 dollar tip what would you spend it on?

Making an incredible record - I'd go into a really good studio, get an entire orchestra.

Hear Aerial East:


Michael Elijah

Tell us about your work.

I got into photography because a friend promised to get a camera and document all our friends, but he never followed through, so I decided to do it myself. I started off doing skate photography when I was around 15 years old. At the time I was disappointed that I ended up spending so much time photographing rather than skating, but now I’m super grateful I did, as that’s how I got started.

I always had a thing for the streets - even as a kid I always wanted to be outside. Growing up in the city is great; if you ever wanted to see the world all you had to do was go downstairs. You can choose your route and walk down certain streets to see certain things.  The street is the perfect backdrop – it’s going through hyper-changes, and so is street culture. I really appreciate it because it dates; you can look back at how people were dressing, what the cars looked like, and how the cityscape looked at a certain second. New York will never look the same as how it was a second ago. 

I started shooting on an old digital camera that I found on Ebay and taking stills from handycams. From those I moved onto using film. Now I prefer to shoot on film because the process is a lot more gratifying. There's less post work, and you can focus all in camera. DSLRs are nowhere near as stealth. People react differently to different cameras –people’s reactions to DSLRs are insincere, they freeze up and instantly pose/hide. 

What have you been working on?

Recently I shot my first look book for Carhartt. I also went to Japan, and I’ve got some books in the works.

What’s the best thing about working at Dimes?

It’s very chill because I can spend the rest of the week doing my own projects and working on my photography. I also grew up around this area and so now working at Dimes I feel reconnected to the area and the community.

In what ways does Dimes influence you creatively?

I feel like the whole restaurant and the people I work with collectively are very inspiring. The fact that the owners are so young and have created such a great space with such a big following already really motivates me in my own projects. The idea of the restaurant is more of an outlet for a greater concept - It's serving food but it's also serving an experience, an aesthetic.

What’s your favorite thing on the menu? 

The halloumi sandwich. Actually, why did i say the halloumi sandwich? I mean the BLT. Yeah, the BLT!

If someone gave you a 10,000 dollar tip what would you spend it on?

Convert it into yen and pack all my goods and move to Japan. Get lost in the red light district, haha. My socially acceptable answer would be to apply for some classes at the International Centre for Photography.


Words by Georgia Graham
Portraits by Alejandra Sabillon