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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (3) Upper East Bowery vs. (14) Old East Village

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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 was the year when two diametrically opposed forces squared off against each other on the streets of the East Village. On one side—literally, the Upper East Bowery, stretching from Houston north to the old thoroughfare's termination at Cooper Square, an upscale wind blew, sweeping John Varvatos into the old CBGB space, Daniel Boulud into Avalon Bowery Place, and—at the so-called 'Dubai on the Bowery' that is Cooper Square Hotel—an entertainment mecca to rival Vegas. For the opposition, 2008 saw the rebirth of what might be called the Old East Village, with protesters decrying, yes, yuppies, and winning long-fought battles to save St. Brigid's and CHARAS/El Bohio on Avenue B. Which way will the winds of change blow in 2009? Before that, let's vote on '08, shall we?

#3 Upper East Bowery
2008 Notables:
· Cooper Square Hotel, aka Dubai on the Bowery, is new face of nabe [Curbed]
· Scarano on the Bowery adds tall condos to blocks of tall hotels [Curbed]
· Grimy Extra Place still primed to become East Village's Left Bank [Curbed]
· Awww, who could forget John Varvatos colonizing the old CBGB space? [Racked]
· Painfully hip boutique Blue & Cream opened its doors at Avalon Bowery Place [Racked]
· Chef Daniel Boulud readies Bowery for $29 burgers [Eater]
· Govind Armstrong & pals ready Table 8 at Cooper Square Hotel [Eater]

#14 Old East Village
2008 Notables:
· Yuppie hating back with a vengeance! [Curbed]
· 'Die Hard Yuppie Scum' protesters run wild at Avalon Bowery [Curbed]
· Drug-fueled defecation returns... albeit to luxury apartment building [Curbed]
· St. Brigid's on Ave. B saved by anonymous gift, restoration begins [Curbed]
· And nearby, CHARAS/El Bohio preserved as landmark [Curbed]
· Longtime nabe fave Love Saves the Day shutters [Racked]
· Grody Met Foods saved from greedy NYU [Racked]
· Goths at Vampire Freaks open their very own store! [Racked]
· New, not old, but God people, praise be for Milk Bar [Eater]

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