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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (2) Madison Square Park vs. (15) Grand Street Environs in Williamsburg

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The Curbed Cup, our annual award to the New York City neighborhood of the year, is taking on a different tone in this, its fifth running. West Village, Long Island City, Williamsburg?they've all been done. Instead, we're mixing things up by focusing on the most newsworthy microneighborhoods. Let the eliminations commence!

It's only three blocks long, but #2 seed Madison Square Park saw several years of growing buzz (Shake Shack, anyone?) explode into full-on insanity in 2008. In the architecture world, everyone wants a piece of MSP, from Rem Koolhaas and his shimmying tower to Daniel Libeskind and his (never gonna get built) hovertube. Meantime, out on the formerly mean streets of Williamsburg, the Grand Street Environs underwent their own spring awakening. With construction sites everywhere and Hot Karl in hot pursuit, the neighborhood battled to downzone construction while, meantime at street level, Paul Smith and others decided the nabe was the place to open their pricey new stores. It's the dark horse #15 seed. So, who's moving on to the second round?

#2 Madison Square Park
2008 Notables:
· Rem Koolhaas has an idea for something really fucking bonkers [Curbed]
· As does old friend Danny Libeskind [Curbed]
· Not to be outdone, Clocktower Condos announce Versace as designer [Curbed]
· Things to look forward to: battle of $50m penthouses! [Curbed]
· Toy Center Condos score their own eight-floor addition [Curbed]
· And there's more fun on the way in 2009! [Eater]

#15 Grand Street Environs in Williamsburg
2008 Notables:
· APC Surplus store kicks off the year in Grand in style [Racked]
· Then Paul Smith brought some real sartorial style [Racked]
· Sensing crazed development, the neighborhood got in the downzone [Curbed]
· Sign of the times: monster Hot Karl tower cut down to size [Curbed]
· Caracas among the new restaurants that threw open their doors [Eater]
· Another Bird has just landed [Racked]

Any notable events we've forgotten? Do chime in.