We built this city on rock and roll, but also on the shoulders of innovators who helped create a buzzy metropolis still worth living in. In fact, the people I'm going to mention continue to reside here, enjoying the fruits of their efforts to make a town that soars above gentrification and other challenges. The 25 most important are:
DEBBIE HARRY The essence of New York-based cool, Debbie steamed up the 1970s and has stayed vital ever since, proving that nothing can ever "rip her to shreds." Also: Patti Smith, Danny Fields, David Johansen.
IMAN The model, actress, and philanthropist and her recently-deceased husband, rock legend David Bowie, made New York into their personal planet. Iman will gracefully continue not only his legend, but her own.
RUSSELL SIMMONS Entrepreneur and philanthropist with stuff on his mind and something to say. He moved to L.A. two years ago to be closer to his daughters, but he still has a house in the NYC area and is here a whole lot for business.
MARC JACOBS From his sweater line when he was a Parsons student to his current reign as head designer for Marc Jacobs, Marc has always been talented, individualistic, and very New York. Love wearing him!
ERIC GOODE New York City without great nightlife and hotels would basically be Dogpatch. Also: Ian Schrager, Steve Mass, Amy Sacco
BILLY JOEL Born in Hicksville, New York, with residences in Centre Island, Sag Harbor, and the West Village, Billy has long been the voice of suburban everyman, wailing his angst while breaking records (and selling them too).