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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (6) Upper Upper East Side vs. (11) Dry LICe

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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!

If there's a theme from 2008 for the Upper Upper East Side—a swath of land we're defining as East 90th Street up to East Harlem—it's that things are really, actually happening. New restaurants and stores? Really, actually happening! New mall? Really actually happening? Unfortunately, the pendlum swung both ways: tragic crane collapse? Really, actually happened. Meantime, in another neighborhood undergoing rapid transition, the interior of Long Island City—aka Dry LICe—saw more new development per square foot than any place outside of Dubai. So who's moving on to round two? Get your vote on.

#6 Upper Upper East Side (East 90th Street north into East Harlem)
2008 Notables:
· Crane collapse at The Azure traumatizes neighborhood [Curbed]
· Conrad, 119th & 3rd et. al. lead nabe building boom, actually affordable
· A new look for 125th Street! [Curbed]
· There's a 'wave' of new restaurants and stores coming to the nabe! No, really! [Eater]
· Like this, the East River Plaza Mall, which is actually happening! [Curbed]

#11 Dry LICe (Long Island City excluding waterfront/QueensWest)
2008 Notables:
· Big new developments like Star Tower lead building boom [Curbed]
· Steelworks Lofts offers PriceChop protection, then hibernates for winter [Curbed]
· Madonna's babydaddy sort of lends cool to development Crescent Club [Curbed]
· Weird shit like this happens with nobody noticing [Curbed]
· And with projects like this on tap, the future's so bright [Curbed]
· Redone Queens Plaza promises oft-demanded 'Gateway to Queens' [Curbed]
· Citibank Building scores the nabe a Starbucks! [Racked]

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