CultureGeorgia Graham

Dimes NYC, #3

CultureGeorgia Graham
Dimes NYC, #3

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.

Bobby Strickland

Tell us about your work.

Let's see. I do music, I'm working on my own T-shirts, I make pins, patches and accessories. I'm starting an internet radio station.

I moved around a lot and I got to see a lot of clothing and style as a kid, but we didn't have a lot of money so I couldn't buy the stuff I wanted. I guess that's what got me into making clothes - I wanted to make the kind of stuff I couldn't buy.

I like taking old logos and comics from 1930s-60s and making it funny and weird now. The punk zines and stuff I used to read really influence how I like to turn these really nice family designed magazines into weird humorous un-PC designs.

My first job was working in a record store; I worked in the back so I could listen to whatever I wanted all day and take CDs home. I would listen to music so loud - my mum would make me listen to Kenny G when I was in trouble; he is a sax player and he sucks!

On Tuesday nights we do this thing called "heavy metal parking lot" which is where we listen to heavy metal while we're clearing up.

Whose work from Dimes do you like?

I really want to work with Sara because she cracks me up - she is so awesome, her drawings are fantastic. Aerial has the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard. And I just want to hang out with Elijah all the time because he is the best.

What would a Dimes uniform look like?

Everyone dresses very 90s, but it’s very effortless, there’s no try-hards. They wear what's comfortable but looks good. Then even if you get stains on your pants, no problem! It just makes the look better!

What’s the best thing about working at Dimes?

Getting to see Alissa every day because she is my favorite person! I worked with her before Dimes so when she quit to run her own place she hit me up and was like, "Will you come work for me?" and I was like, "Hell yeah!"

It’s crazy because there's people that come in there that are so high up in the art world and then also the graffiti boys. All these people are there at the same time, and if they were all there sitting next to each other they could all relate, shoot the shit together. It's awesome Dimes brings people together like that.

Everyone at Dimes is so positive about what you're doing - sometimes when you're working on something you start to ask yourself if it's stupid, but then when you have someone you can show stuff to they're like, "Man that’s dope you should put it on a t shirt!"

Everyone working [at Dimes] is so weird I love it, they're awesome! I would describe the crowd working there as very open-minded, laid-back, super nice, all very attractive in their own crazy ways. Everyone there is pretty dateable!

What’s your favorite thing on the menu?

Aw man - the burrata! That’s so good. We get a staff meal and I usually order the burrata and pay for it myself, it's that good. If they ever take it off the menu, I'll quit. Now I want to go eat it!

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

Holy shit 10,000 dollars! So many things... I'd probably take my mum out to dinner a whole bunch of times and then use the rest of the money to pay rent and buy loads of records.


Britt Luttio

Tell us about your work.

My dad is a painter and a carpenter, my mum did interior design and my grandma was a seamstress. I design and also paint - most of my ideas are based on how I see the body and think about societal pressures surrounding being a woman today.

[Jobwise] I've worked ALL jobs - working at Dimes is like living the dream - finally all these random steps have combined to where I am now. I love Dimes because I'm surrounded by really fantastic people doing other things.

Where and what are you studying?

I moved to Los Angeles from Seattle and studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute [of Design and Merchandising] for 2 years.  I met a teacher who had been a pattern maker at Geoffrey Beene and who taught at Parsons; he had taught Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen there, and he inspired me to move to NYC. So I moved, and applied to Parsons.

My dad recently became paraplegic and gets hemorrhages all the time, so my entry application project was an interpretation of scarves based on his 16 different surgeries. I had all these pictures of his scars and I started to deconstruct that - I did a lot of research on people that had lost their ability to do fundamental things like walking.

I did drapes based on all these feelings - the shirring represents the seizures, the different techniques of smocking were inspired and based around my research of both the physical effects of his illness, but also the psychological tensions and struggles.

I'm so inspired by his strengths - when you are able to express yourself through an experience it can really help you to close that door – it’s therapeutic. I think a big part of being a strong artist is telling your experiences of being a child, a teenager, telling YOUR story as well as what you believe in with your art.

What is the best thing about working at Dimes?

There are so many, but definitely the people. The people you do your shifts with are like your "suite mates" in a dormitory. It's the first job where I don't feel like, "Oh I don't want to go to work". It's like hanging out with your friends - but we're all trying to make it too. But yes, there are crazy gluten-free vegans who drive us nuts!

Sabrina and Alissa really respect their workers; if you do something wrong or need help, they are always going to be there. The fact that they are two women opening their own company on the Lower East Side is really rare and impressive - that's what we need more of in design, food, in all aspects of culture in New York - small businesses are what make New York, New York.

In what ways does Dimes influence you creatively?

I just moved and the design of the restaurant has totally influenced the design of my home. I did my first critique at school and we were asked to collect a bunch of images for inspiration. When our teacher was asking where the shapes and sculptures I was using came from I realized they were all from Dimes! The space you work in can really influence your work.

In my personal work, I'm inspired by Elijah's photos, Sara's drawings. It inspires me to do things for myself and achieve more in my own work - when I see them working it makes me want to do more.

Do you find that the artistic work of the other people working at Dimes has resulted in any changes to your style/media/subject matter?

Yeah - with Cassi's pottery (she does all the pottery and ceramics at Dimes) she has these distressed pots, which I really like.

I've been thinking about combining these tweeds and pulling the threads out to replicate these distressed pots - I think in a fabric or a painting it could be really amazing.

What is your favorite thing on the menu?

Right now I’d say the quinoa bowl.  I try to eat really healthy at Dimes because I can get my greasy breakfast sandwich at my local bodega!

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

I would give it to my parents, I owe them my life.


Dimes NYC



Words by Georgia Graham
Portraits by