New York is broken into different community boards. Community boards are local appointed bodies and the local subdivision when it comes to how each borough is broken up. Use this link to find your community board and take part in shaping your neighborhood today!
Once you have done that, visit your local community board office. These unpaid volunteer community members and stakeholders who are at the forefront of what is happening in your neighborhood. They can give you information about new developments or community events. One thing you will notice is that they will never turn down help. If you could volunteer a couple hours a month it will make a huge difference and you will be one of the most informed people in your neighborhood.