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21 questions

Nick Zinner Gives Money to Panhandlers (But Not on St. Marks)

Name: Nick Zinner
Age: "Getting up there"
Neighborhood: East Village/Noho
Occupation: Musician, photographer. He'll be discussing his new collection of photographs, Please Take Me Off the Guest List, with journalist Katherine Lanpher on Monday, September 20, at Barnes & Noble Union Square.

Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
There really are so many, but I'm going to go with Luke Cage, a.k.a. POWER MAN, one of my childhood comic book heroes. He wasn't necessarily the most interesting or unusual super hero, but he was New York's non-webbed defender, and his comics provided me with my earliest impressions of the city, years before I moved here. Apologies to everyone who played at CBGBs from 1977 to 1979; you guys are up there, too.

What's the best meal you've eaten in New York?
That would be a toss-up between lo mein at 69 Bayard, which stays open till like 6 am, and the sesame medallions at Zen Palate.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
It can vary from writing and recording music, shooting or editing photos, and playing concerts and traveling, to sitting around and playing Internet poker.

What was your first job in New York?
I was a black-and-white printer for a Swedish photographer in Brooklyn.

What's the last thing you saw on Broadway?
I've never seen a musical on Broadway, but I did see that Runaways movie a few months ago on Broadway and 19th Street.

Do you give money to panhandlers?
Yeah, sometimes, but not on St. Marks.

What's your drink?
Vodka soda.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Maybe three or four times a week. I'm a terrible chef: I ruin pots trying to cook pasta, and I set off the fire alarm trying to make a sandwich. ... It's embarrassing.

What's your favorite medication?
Vicodin?

What's hanging above your sofa?
Nothing right now because I just moved, but I bought a beautiful old movie poster in El Paso for La Mujer Murcielago (The Bat-Woman) that I intend on hanging up asap.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
Anything over 10 back-rubs.

When's bedtime?
I'm nocturnal, so anywhere between 4 and 6 am.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
One of my favorite films is Times Square with Tim Curry, so I'm going to go with the old. It seemed to inspire such stuff of legend, as opposed to, say, the M&M store.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
Obviously, his whole look is, as they say, "a lot of look." I can't really get past that.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
The high price of real estate and the unbelievable lack of affordable studio space for musicians and artists, notably in Manhattan.

Who is your mortal enemy?
Anyone with more than four legs.

When's the last time you drove a car?
A few months ago in L.A. for five minutes. My eyes are fucked up, and I don't have much depth perception, so it's generally not a good idea for me to be behind the wheel.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
Not as badly as it did my parents.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
Times!

Where do you go to be alone?
That would be my apartment.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
Living here for more than four years.

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Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images