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Marcia Bricker Halperin's photo
Marcia Bricker Halperin

New York’s iconic diners are celebrated in this new outdoor exhibit

‘Kibbitz & Nosh’ share New Yorkers’ favorite pastimes: chatting and eating.

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Written by
Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

New York is a city rooted in its past, and a new, free public art exhibit will help indulge that nostalgia.

The Garment District Alliance's latest in its ongoing series of public art exhibits is showcasing "Kibbitz & Nosh: When We All Met at Dubrow’s Cafeteria." The collection is a tribute to New York's historic diners (and consistent pastime of gossiping and snacking), by lifelong Brooklynite and photographer Marcia Bricker Halperin.

The series draws from Halperin's recently published book of the same name, which showcases the city's diners and all their unique character and charm. Architecture, neon signage, and eclectic interiors are all prominent in black-and-white photos of the establishments, including the namesake Dubrow’s Cafeteria, which was located in Brooklyn and Manhattan’s Garment Districts between 1975 and 1985, a time of rapid change in the city. 

A photo from "Kibbitz and Nosh"
Photograph: Marcia Bricker Halperin | A photo from “Kibbitz and Nosh”

The images cover over a decade of New Yorkers gathering in these spaces, illuminating the evolution of the city's social and economic landscape throughout the seasons. The series also includes photographs of the Horn & Hardart Automats in New York City and Philadelphia, the Garden Cafeteria on the Lower East Side, and diners in Miami, Los Angeles, and Warsaw, Poland.

“This exhibition offers a nostalgic and powerful glimpse into New York City's rich history,” said Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance. “We’re proud to be showcasing Marcia’s photographs, which highlight the creative spirit that thrives in our neighborhood, and we encourage everyone to come check them out this summer.”

The installation is part of the Garment District Space for Public Art program, which showcases artists in unusual locations and has produced more than 200 installations, exhibits, and performances over the past 18 years. Located inside the Kaufman Arcade building on 139 West 35th Street, the free exhibit is accessible to the public through August 31. 

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