The term dinner refers to the main meal in a day. Consumption of food is an essential element of life as sleeping is for a human being. Most of the people who know the importance of eating habits care about the quality of food and nutrition.  However, even if the food provides the necessary nutrition, that alone is not enough. The question is, what is a quality dinner? Having dinner is not just about eating food, but portrays many aspects of our lives.

A study in Public Health Nutrition which compiles data relating to American’s food-related time use over the past 30 years reveals some interesting trends: Eating as a primary activity declined in the past 30 years.  On the other hand, eating as a secondary activity rose dramatically in the past 30 years. When we combine the primary and secondary eating time, we see that we’re spending an average of 25 or more minutes in total daily than we did 30 years ago.  We now do almost 50 percent of our eating food consumption while concentrating on something else.

The spread of Internet, computers and cell phones in recent years has given people many methods of communication, and dinner has lost its original essence as an occasion to socialize with others.  The changes in society, as well as the people who form them have lead to a shift in how we spend our dinner time.

However, I would like to make myself clear. I have no intent on saying that having dinner with a cell phone is bad and eating alone is sad. My idea of this project is to propose what dinner is to people, how different it can be for everyone, and present the diversity found in this everyday act.  When you enjoy mealtimes, you’re more likely to eat better. Needless to say, how people enjoy the many aspects of our lives, including dinner time, depends solely on that person.
Let’s think what we can do to enhance the pleasure of the table.

  • Jorge Valdés-Iga
Jorge, a movie producer, eats at a NY deli. He always chooses the same seat, watching the clock.
Age: 27   Time: 6:30 PM  Location: Midtown, New York
  • Kimberly Cherubin and Gregory Santos
Kimberly and Gregory, wife and husband often stay late at offices on weekdays but try to have dinner together as much as possible, usually accompanied by their cat, Tigerlilli. 
Age: Kimberly 31, Gregory 31  Time: 9:06 PM    Location: Inwood, New York
  • Garro Heedae
Heedae, a musician has dinner late at night after intensive drum rehearsal sessions.
Age: 28   Time: 1:20 AM   Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn
  • Avina Christie
Avina, a 9 months old baby  has dinner with her mother, and through a skype video call shares the time with her grandparents who live in Boston.
Age: Avina 9 Months   Time: 6:57 PM    Location: Upper West, New York
  • U Pa Mok Kha
U Pa Mok Kha is a monk from Myanmar who cannot eat after 12 noon. Local people bring him food and  after he is done, he shares the rest of the food with them.
Age: 55 Time: 11:17 AM    Location: Jackson Heights, Queens
  • Zheng Yun
Zheng lives with her daughter and son, but usually eats dinner alone while watching TV.
Age: 52 Time: 8:54 PM    Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn
  • Seth Rabinowitz
Seth, an aspiring actor, eats dinner at home watching TV. He tries to eat at 6 PM as it reminds him of his childhood.
Age:30   Time: 6:51 PM  Location: Midtown West, New York
  • Carlos Ledesma
Carlos, from Algentina usually enjoys Sunday night with his friends watching TV show on HBO at home. 
Age: 31,   Time: 8:06 PM   Location: Astoria, Queens
  • Chelsea Olson
Chelsea, a model concentrates on her food while reviewing her busy day.
Age: 20   Time: 8:13 PM   Location: Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn
  • Kristy May has quick dinner, dandling her 1 month newborn baby.
Age: 32  Time: 4:50 PM  Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
  • Bobby Blue and Joey Outten
Bobby and Joey met each other through blind date cooking and they enjoy cooking and eating dinner together. 
Time: 7:23 PM    Location: Bedford, Brooklyn
  • Jessie Zinke
Jessie, a designer has leftover for dinner on her bed, while watching her favorite TV show.
Age: 27  Time: 6:54 PM  Location: Chelsea, New York
  • Emilie Rolin Jacquemyns
Emilie, a graduate student from Belgium, eats a salad at home after evening classes. 
Age: 27  Time: 9:46 PM    Location: Upper East Side, New York
  • Richard Phillip Nelson
Richard, who works in several restaurants, eats dinner during his break at an organic cafe in Earthmatters. He is an organic vegan and comes to this cafe 
a few times in a week.
Age: 59,   Time: 5:58 PM   Location: Lower East Side, New York
  • Jai Yoon Lee
Jai Yoon, a student from South Korea has dinner in her dorm room watching her favorite Japanese TV shows.
Age: 20   Time: 7:51 PM    Location: Greenwich Village, New York
  • Giselle Behrens and Fernando Mendoza
Giselle and Fernando, wife and husband both from Venezuela enjoy one another’s company over a home-cooked meal prepared by Fernando.
Age: Giselle 26, Fernando 27   Time: 9:30 PM   Location: Midtown West, New York
  • Oona Wagner
Oona,  a 13-year old girl who lives with her father and her stepmother, has her favorite Italian food prepared by her father while watching a TV show on her bed.
Age: 13   Time: 8:21 PM   Location: Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
  • Gideon
Gideon, a security guard of a storage company eats a simple dinner at work.
Time: 7:42 PM    Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn
  • Matthew Vogel
Matthew, relaxes with a sandwich and a beer during the evening commute to Pleasantville, NY.
Age: 30  Time: 6:59 PM    Location: White Plains, Harlem Line
  • Yohan Kim
Yohan, an architect, worked over time with his coworkers.  They had pizza and beer on the desk.
Age: 28  Time: 7:27 PM    Location: Dumbo, Brooklyn
  • Auranuch Lorsakul
Auranuch, a PHD student at Columbia University, eats fast food in a lab while watching video lectures.
Time7:18 PM    Location: Upper West Side, New York