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New York, New York, It's a Helluva Town... And Gets Its Own Section: Introducing HuffPost New York

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New York, New York, it's a helluva town... so today we're launching HuffPost New York.

New York has always held a special place in the heart of HuffPosters. It definitely has for me. It was the first place in America I lived in after moving here from London in 1980. And the majority of the HuffPost team is based in New York, working out of our offices in SoHo. But whether you live in New York or not -- New York is part of our national collective consciousness. The Statue of Liberty, Broadway, Seinfeld, Sex and the City, the Yankees, Giants, Jets, Knicks, Mets, Rangers (love 'em or hate 'em, you probably follow them), the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square... Ground Zero.

HuffPost New York features our curated selection of the best New York news coverage, plus a collection of bloggers -- some familiar faces you know, some we're excited to introduce you to -- who are eager to share their takes on everything from local politics to the city's fashion, food, entertainment, real estate, sports teams, and business trends. Today's lineup includes posts from Nora Ephron on the summer joys of Shakespeare in the Park, Sen. Chuck Schumer on biking in the city, legendary New York cop Frank Serpico on the recent shooting of a black NYPD officer by a white fellow officer, former mayor Ed Koch on giving the state senate the heave-ho, and NY takes from a trio of longtime HuffPost favorites, Lizz Winstead, Chris Durang, and Patricia Zohn, who has been covering culture in New York on HuffPost since our early days.

In an effort to bring you all the great local journalism going on in New York, we've formed partnerships with more than a dozen local outlets offering the best on-the-ground and in-the-boroughs reporting happening around town. Read our Special Projects Editor Katharine Zaleski's account of her Pilgrim's Progress through the great sites of New York. Our partners' content will be available on a constantly updating widget in the middle of the page -- and also added to the mix of stories featured with headlines and pictures.

And we will, of course, make our community a big part of the mix. As we move forward, we hope you'll help shape our coverage via our Eyes & Ears citizen reporting unit. We'll be asking you to share your favorite local spots, point out what isn't working in your neighborhood -- and what is being done to make it a better place to live.

We are also teaming up the Gotham Gazette and the Brooklyn Rail to combine their local reporting experience with our citizen journalism outreach to dig deep into important local stories. And we'll be working with the Mayor's office to highlight and help in its efforts to encourage and facilitate service among New Yorkers.

HuffPost New York is being edited by longtime New Yorker Dan Collins, a veteran journalist who covered the city for many years. He's also written books on Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch -- so he knows New York politics from the inside. Katharine Zaleski will continue to spearhead our partnerships with local sites. And everyone in our New York office has something to say about the city, so expect to be hearing a lot from them too.

This promises to be a very eventful year in The Big Apple, with the city gearing up for a mayoral race, Wall Street scrambling to figure out what's next, new stadiums for the Yankees and the Mets, the post-Plaxico Giants and the post-Favre Jets, the opening of the new High Line park on Manhattan's West Side, Times Square being turned into a pedestrian mall (aka Beach Chairs on Broadway), and the state government in the midst of a major meltdown (it's been a long, long, time since so many New York dinner conversations have focused on the state senate).

So check out HuffPost New York and use the comments section on this post to let us know what you think.