Name: Nigel Barker
Neighborhood: West Village/Meatpacking district
Occupation: Photographer, filmmaker, author, America’s Next Top Model judge. On August 31 he’ll be shooting the new ad campaign for Nine West Runway Relief, an initiative created to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
I have always admired Laurance Rockefeller for his philanthropy and conservationism.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
During the blackout in 2003, the whole of the West Village poured out onto the streets. People were barbecuing and eating everything they had, and all the local restaurants were giving away their food. It was like a giant family sit-down dinner where everyone was invited.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I strive to be creative with the sole goal of producing something new and hopefully thought-provoking.
What was your first job in New York?
In 1992 I worked as a model for It Models while living at the notorious Chelsea Hotel. My first paying job was for Ralph Lauren.
What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
I am more of an Off Broadway kinda guy.
Do you give money to panhandlers?
Yes, but mostly food. I hate to see leftovers from my shoots go to waste.
What’s your drink?
Guinness and Tequila — It’s known locally as the Barker Bomb.
How often do you prepare your own meals?
Every day. I love to cook for me and the family. My specialties are Sri Lankan curry and freshly made pesto (not served together!).
What’s your favorite medication?
Single-malt whiskey or gin, depending on my condition.
What’s hanging above your sofa?
A window and a dream catcher. I love an afternoon snooze on the couch.
How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
I have a haircut every week and don’t like to spend more than $25.00, including the tip.
Since the kids I haven’t slept properly in five years, so bedtime is whenever I can squeeze it in. I am, however, not a night owl by nature, so before midnight is preferable.
Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
I am not crazy about crowds, but love the idea of a town square, which is what Times Square is for NYC. Probably the new Times Square, as it’s more a people place now.
What do you think of Donald Trump?
An interesting character that is fast becoming a living urban myth. I’d like to photograph him.
What do you hate most about living in New York?
Being so far away from most of my old friends and family.
Who is your mortal enemy?
I don’t have one, but discrimination and prejudice upset me to the core.
When’s the last time you drove a car?
I don’t own a car but do rent them from time to time. We rented bikes last week, though, while on the Italian coast.
How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
Luckily my regular business is diversified, so when one area is quiet another always seems to pick up.
Times , Post, or Daily News?
Where do you go to be alone?
The gym. Even though I am surrounded by other sweaty people, I put my headphones on and go into my own world.
What makes someone a New Yorker?
The desire of an individual to be a New Yorker and commit to free thinking.