Kurt Andersen (“Boom-Bust-Boom Town,”), a contributing editor and the magazine’s “Imperial City” columnist, is also a contributor to Vanity Fair, the author of the novels Turn of the Century and Heyday, and the host of public radio’s “Studio 360.” A co-founder of Spy, he edited New York from 1994 to 1996.

Jeff Glendenning served as contributing art director for this issue. He has worked at The New York Times Magazine, Play, and Key, where he designed and art-directed numerous covers and special issues. He’s the founder of Studio Glendenning, a design business, and teaches editorial design at the School of Visual Arts.

Jennifer Gonnerman (“Hamid & Sons,”), a New York contributing editor, was a Village Voice staff writer from 1997 to 2006. Her 2004 book, Life on the Outside, an account of a nonviolent drug offender who spent sixteen years in prison under the Rockefeller drug laws, was a National Book Award finalist. She has written about subway trackworkers, registered sex offenders, and exploited nail-salon employees for the magazine.

Michael A. Gonzales (“The Holy House of Hip-Hop,”), the co-author of Bring the Noise: A Guide to Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture, has written for Vibe and XXL, and blogs at A Harlem native, he now lives in Brooklyn.

Gael Greene (“The Haute-est Cuisine,”) served as the magazine’s chief restaurant critic from its founding in 1968 until 2002, when she became a contributing editor. She has published two novels and two nonfiction books, including her 2006 memoir, Insatiable.

Pete Hamill (“Brooklyn Revisited,”) edited the New York Post and the Daily News; was a columnist for the Post, the News, Newsday, Esquire, the Village Voice, and this magazine; and has written 22 books, including his memoir, A Drinking Life, and North River, a novel published last year. He was born in Bay Ridge and raised in Park Slope.

Jay McInerney (“Yuppies in Eden,”) published his debut novel, Bright Lights, Big City, in 1984. He’s published six novels since, most recently The Good Life, in 2006. A New York contributing editor, he wrote about the end of the Upper East Side in the magazine two years ago.

David Samuels (“Assimilation and Its Discontents,”), a contributing editor at Harper’s, published two books this spring: Only Love Can Break Your Heart, a collection of his magazine articles, and The Runner, an expansion of a 2001 New Yorker article about a con man who talked his way into Princeton University.

Michael Tomasky (“The Day Everything Changed,”) wrote the magazine’s “The City Politic” column from 1995 to 2002, covering most of Rudy Giuliani’s two terms as mayor. He was the editor of The American Prospect and now edits Guardian America, the U.S.-focused online edition of London’s Guardian newspaper. He’s also the author of Hillary’s Turn, an account of the former First Lady’s United States Senate run, published in 2001.

Jonathan Van Meter (“The Original Gossip Girl,”), a New York contributing editor, wrote about today’s plastic-surgery ideal, the “New New Face,” in the magazine this summer. He is also a contributing editor at Vogue and the founding editor of Vibe. Van Meters 2003 book, The Last Good Time, chronicled midcentury Atlantic City and a mobbed-up nightclub owner living there at the time.

Dan Winters, who shot all the portraits in this issue, has photographed personalities from Angelina Jolie to Fred Rogers to the Dalai Lama. Based in Austin, Texas, and Los Angeles, Winters has won more than 100 awards, including a World Press Photo Award and the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography. To complete this project, Winters camped out in a rented West Chelsea studio for two-and-a-half weeks (with an L.A. weekend thrown in, to catch a few former New Yorkers). His agenda for just one of those days— Friday, September 12—included sessions with Glenn Close, John Lithgow, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Jessica Lange, Ed Koch and Mike Bloomberg, James Earl Jones, Patti LuPone, John Turturro, Matthew Broderick, Tim Robbins, Eric Bogosian, and Lauren Bacall.