Multiracial Nigel Barker, who is of British, Sri Lankan, Portuguese, and Irish descent, is a London-born photographer whose early career as a model whisked him to spots like Milan and Paris, but for the past 15 years, the former America’s Next Top Model judge has called the West Village, where he lives with his wife Cristen, son Jack, 7, and daughter Jasmine, 4, home.
“People think New York is this big city where no one knows each other, but when you live in the Village, it’s the opposite,” he says. “I know the butcher, the baker and all the local coffee shops. It makes New York a very manageable place to live with kids.”
“We shot the whole thing in Brooklyn, so you have the New York City vista in the background,” he says. “Jack and Jasmine even got to spend a day on set, where they raided their dad’s closet, tried on his clothes and took turns sitting in the director’s chair.
“They got to boss him around a little bit, too. It was kind of fun,” Cristen says who is of Chinese and Irish ancestry.
What are the Barker family’s favorite things to do in New York?
Molly’s Cupcakes (288 Bleecker St between Carmine St and Sixth Ave; 212-414-2253, mollyscupcakes.com) is on our way home from school—we’re there a lot.
“The kids’ friends gather at the shop and the waitress even knows Jasmine by name. Plus, the cupcakes are so unusual—they’re like ice cream flavors. They have chocolate-chip cookie dough and lemon meringue cupcakes.”
“He likes to look at all of the Native American artifacts, especially the room that’s decorated with teepees and headdresses.”
“The kids can eat pizza and burgers while parents enjoy a pint of beer. Jasmine and Jack especially like the fish and chips, which are followed by complimentary ice cream. It’s also opposite Bleecker Playground, which is convenient.”
“Jack goes to the skateboard camp at BB Social Club (bbsocialclub.com). They take the kids to various skateboard parks around the city. Jack’s been everywhere from Hoboken to Queens and Brooklyn.”
“We were recently driving through the Bronx and Jack was like ‘Oh, I’ve been here.’”
“Jasmine is really into ballet and princesses—she goes to the Joffrey Ballet School for dance class.”
“Cowgirl Café is a very family-friendly neighborhood place for brunch. They give the kids little toys to play with, and they all know us there.”
First published in ‘ Time Out New York Kids’
- Fashion Photographer Nigel Barker On How to Take the Perfect Selfie (stylecaster.com)
- Models on `The Face’ say tough skin is a must (sacbee.com)
- Tyra Banks Fires America’s Next Top Model Judges Nigel Barker, J. Alexander & Jay Manuel! (binsidetv.net)
- How Is Naomi Campbell Celebrating Valentine’s Day? Not the Way You’d Think (celebuzz.com)