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The 2004 Curbed Awards (Part III)

Yesterday, we presented Part I (Real Estate) & Part II (Restaurants & Retail) of the 2004 Curbed Awards. Today, we finish the year that was with the presentation of Part III, Neighborhoods...

III. NEIGHBORHOODS

The Architects are on the Grass Award
For sublime achievement in urban planning, 2004
3) Queens Olympic Village. As part of its plan for Long Island City, architecture firm Morphosis proposes a glamorous East River beach.
2) East River Redevelopment. As images leaked out from the inner sanctum of the Richard Rogers/SHoP plan for the East River (right), we learned that we'll all soon be blissing, dining, and dancing beneath the FDR Drive.
1) The High Line. Though the final master plan from Field Operations/DS+R may be forced to tone down the fields of good weed, here's hoping the broad appeal of a hellworld dystopia won't be lost.

Canoening the Gowanus Award
Top gentrifying neighborhood, 2004
Awarded to: Bedford-Stuyvesant. As recently as June, it was smacking around Clinton Hill. Then came word that townhouse prices in the nabe were topping $1.5 million, and the chic bistro wave was underway. Can a Meier/Gehry/Gwathmey-designed development be far behind?
Runner-up: Harlem. Quick, grab your $1-million+ brownstone shell before they're gone!

Best Hipster Coming-of-Age Parable
When signs went up in Williamsburg advertising a new gym, Core Health & Fitness, locals rushed to drop $170 for initiation. When the gym opened, however, it looked suspiciously like an American Apparel. All was saved, however, when Eliot Spitzer collared the scammer, self-professed "muscle bound fitness freak" John Suarez.

So Much For Ethnic Culture
3) Little Italy subsumed by Nolita
2) High rents threaten Little India
1) Developers eye Miami on the Hudson

Best Plan for Ethnic Culture Rebirth
Little Italy on the Hudson. If the Cipriani Restaurant Group has its way at Pier 57 in Chelsea, we can rest assured that Italy's NYC legacy will sail on.

Off With Her Crown!
Neighborhood landmarks lost in 2004
3) (tie) Village Idiot, West Village/Barramundi, LES
2) Joe's Pizza, West Village
1) El Teddy's, Tribeca (right)

Best New Micro-Neighborhood Monickers
3) Lohki, Lower Hell's Kitchen
2) SoHeKiNoChe, South of Hell's Kitchen, North of Chelsea
1) NoMeat, emerging dining district North of Meatpacking

Crack Vial Nostalgia
The sad decline of the East Village cityscape, 2004
3) Sculpture for Living defaces Astor Place
2) Tower of Bowery defaces the Bowery
1) MiniMegaDorm project defaces Avenue B

The Curbed Cup
Neighborhood of the Year, 2004
3) Lower East Side. Perhaps we're biased -- hell, of course we're biased -- but moments like December's jelly donut phenomenon prove the LES's ongoing worth as the greatest place to live in the Western Hemisphere.
2) Meatpacking District. Love it or hate it (N.B. now that everyone hates it, it's cool to love it again) no 10-block area got more attention in 2004. And with an estimated 162 new restaurants slated for the hood in 2005, MePa has become the Spears/Federline of neighborhoods: horrifying to look at, impossible to look away.
1) Fort Greene. Okay, we've never actually set foot in it. And yet, it seems everyone we know either bought in Fort Greene this year, thought about buying in Fort Green this year, made a special adventure voyage to dine out in Fort Greene this year (et tu, Bruni?), or otherwise felt the need to namedrop Fort Greene in cocktail conversation. Giant rats or no giant rats, this was the place to be -- or pretend to be -- in 2004. No matter what the future holds (more hipster migration?), we herewith award the first Curbed Cup for Neighborhood of the Year to Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Maybe we'll even check it out ourselves in 2005.

And with that, we're out for the year. Thanks to all who read, emailed, and otherwise encouraged us during Curbed's freshman campaign. Ahead in 2005: more of the same shit. We're back Monday; til then, Happy New Year.