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, 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, 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, a musician has dinner late at night after intensive drum rehearsal sessions.
Age: 28   Time: 1:20 AM   Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn
  • Avina Christie, 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 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 lives with her daughter and son, but usually eats dinner alone while watching TV.
Age: 52 Time: 8:54 PM    Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn
  • David Byrd-Marrow
David, a French horn player, eats take-out meals by himself while watching internet TV.
Age: 27   Time: 5:55 PM    Location: Prospect Park South, Brooklyn
  • Carlos Ledesma, 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
  • Queenie loves to cook simple dinner at home like pasta, and enjoys taking the time to relax.
Age: 32  Time: 7:27 PM  Location: East Village, New York
  • Bobby Blue and Joey Outten met each other through blind date cooking and they enjoy cooking and eating dinner together. 
Time: 7:23 PM    Location: Bedford, Brooklyn
  • Kristy May has quick dinner, dandling her 1 month newborn baby.
Age: 32  Time: 4:50 PM  Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
  • Seth Rabinowitz, 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
  • Emilie Rolin Jacquemyns, 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, 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
  • Jessie Zinke, 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
  • Jai Yoon Lee, 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, 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
  • Chelsea Olson, a model concentrates on her food while reviewing her busy day.
Age: 20   Time: 8:13 PM   Location: Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn
  • Oona Wagner,  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
  • Ali Carolina Lazo and Juan Antonio Carbonell
Juan and Ali, newlyweds from Venezuela, enjoy their dinner of Arepa and wine, while talking with Ali's brother in Venezuela on speakerphone.
Age:  Ali 25, Juan 27  Time: 9:10PM   Location: Upper East, New York
  • Gideon, a security guard of a storage company eats a simple dinner at work.
Time: 7:42 PM    Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn
  • 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, 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, 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