Musical Chairs at the Times Metro Desk

The New York Times reporter formerly known as The Nocturnalist isn’t the only one working a new beat in 2012.

Between Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the “rape cops,” 2011 was a big year at the Manhattan State Supreme court. Courthouse reporter John Elgion, for one, is moving on, to Albany, where he will join the paper’s statehouse team. Russ Buettner, author of the “Abused and Used” series, will succeed him on the failing-to-convict-creeps-beat. (Totally unrelated, we’re looking forward to any Greg Kelly coverage!)

Transportation reporter Michael Grynbaum has moved over to City Hall, where he will try his hand at Michael Barbaro‘s unsolved mysteries, like, what did Mayor Bloomberg Netflix last weekend? (Answer: Nothing! He doesn’t watch movies unless they’re based on his favorite spy thriller.)

Cara Buckley will cover the city’s community boards, as a lens for neighborhood and quality of life stories. Elizabeth Harris has taken over “The Appraisal” real estate column, previously penned by Diane Cardwell, who moved to Business Day earlier this year.