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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (1) High Line District vs. (16) Hudson Square

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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. And now, round one.

It was the year the High Line—well, phase one of the High Line—was supposed to open to the public. And while that didn't happen (think spring, friends), everything else came up roses along and under the ancient elevated railroad tracks that run from the Meatpacking District up to 30th Street, and then loop around Hudson Yards. Call it the High Line District, and bask in the many wonders of our #1 seed: the newly soft-soft-opened Standard Hotel; insta-hit restaurants like The John Dory and Scarpetta; and, perhaps best of all, the credit crunch that could keep the monstrous Hudson Square plans from getting built in this lifetime. Agaist that, we have #16 Hudson Square, a neighborhood that took it on the chin again and again this year: the accident at Trump Soho; the approval of a ghastly sanitation plant; and soil so infertile that restaurant after restaurant failed. And, it's time to vote.

#1 High Line District (High Line track vicinity, MePa to Hudson Yards)
2008 Notables:
· Standard Hotel taunts us with unrealistic opening timeline... [Curbed]
· ... but thrills as a backdrop for the High Line's hot chairs [Curbed]
· After years of rumors, Barneys looks ready to move in at 13th Street [Racked]
· Legendary nabe restaurant Florent shuttered, to much weeping [Eater]
· Renzo Piano's plans for New Whitney sparked a lovefest [Curbed]
· Neal Denari's HL23 among many mind-blowing architectural creations astride the 'Line [Curbed]
· Rising cost of gas: High Line Mobil Station goes for $60m [Curbed]

#16 Hudson Square
2008 Notables:
· Major crain accident at Trump Soho results in one death [Curbed]
· The in the fall, Trump gets a 34-story friend, The Charlton [Curbed]
· ... while Trump Soho got back to work, and eventually topped out [Curbed]
· Prospect of a Tower of Garbage roils the good folks at the Ear Inn... [Curbed]
· ...but City Council says, hey, let's build the Garbage Garage anyway! [Curbed]
· Work underway at 330 Hudson gives new meaning to 'adaptive reuse' [Curbed]
· Poor, sweet Aloha Rag brought high fashion to the nabe [Racked]
· Relocated Steak Frites one of many restaurants to show this ain't the nabe for eats [Eater]

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