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Experience New York’s Classic Diners Through This Instagram Account

Experience New York’s Classic Diners Through This Instagram Account

The classic American diner has been immortalised in books, movies and television shows — On The Road, When Harry Met Sally, Seinfeld, etc — and makes up a large part of what makes the US so iconic. They’re quintessential, that’s for sure.

But a lot of what we see on our screens doesn’t actually exist (looking at you, Central Perk). So it makes you wonder whether or not a regular traveller like you or me can find those cosy, picturesque diners IRL.

Thankfully, we have Riley Arthur to help us out. Growing up in American Samoa, Riley saw the ubiquitous diner in every program or advertisement she was exposed to. Her fascination mounted through to adulthood, where she moved to New York City and decided to start photographing the city’s last remaining diners on Instagram.


The result was dinersofnyc, an account that documents over 140 independent diners across New York City’s neighbourhoods.


Riley told Lonely Planet: “I started photographing diners to attempt to capture the dichotomy between their starkly-dated facades and the skyscrapers enveloping them.” But once she realised how many New York City diners were closing down, she realised there was a greater purpose to her project.


In her time, she’s shot a lot of classic places. Including this one, which was used for a scene in the Robert Deniro movie Goodfellas (and has since been renamed Goodfellas Diner as a result).

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Or the Empire Diner that was a filming location for movies like Manhattan and TV shows like Gossip Girl.


Then again, a lot of them weren’t used as locations for shoots, but we’re certain they’ve inspired some. The style and vibe are no doubt classic Americana through and through.

(Lead image: dinersofnyc/Instagram)

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