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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (5) Red Hook Waterfront vs. (12) Times 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. Let the eliminations commence!

With two days of first-round matchups down, we've got two more days to go to see which neighborhoods move on to the second round in the chase for the Curbed Cup, awarded annually to the neighborhood of the year. Today, we begin with the formidable #5 seed, the Red Hook Waterfront, which found itself under the media glare from the opening of the Red Hook Ikea (and the nicely refurbished waterfront parkland to go along with it) to the insipid cast members of Real World: Brooklyn moving in at Pier 41. Back in old Manhattan, #12 seed Times Square was enlivened anew with, among other highlights, the new TKTS Booth and its associated Stairway to Nowhere, and two Spidermen scaling the New York Times Building on the same freaking day. So which neighborhood's moving on to round two?

#5 Red Hook Waterfront
2008 Notables:
· A little store called Ikea opened its doors [Racked]
· Megamall at nearby Revere Sugar site? Sure, why not [Curbed]
· Specifically, a BJ's Wholesale Club? Good times, good times [Racked]
· The cast of The Real World: Brooklyn settled into the hood [Curbed]
· The strange case of 160 Imlay finally settled [Curbed]
· Not far from the water, the Red Hook Ballfields served up plenty o' controversy [E]

#12 Times Square
2008 Notables:
· Spidermen made an awesome mockery of Renzo Piano's NYT Tower [Curbed]
· Richard Rogers got the nod for a trippy new Port Authority tower [Curbed]
· Development continued at 11 Times Square, despite no known tenants [Curbed]
· TKTS stellar Stairway to Nowhere opens to wild applause, acclaim [Curbed]
· Land cleared at 740 Eighth Ave., but pit may stay empty awhile [Curbed]
· Retailer Uniqlo deployed a human vending machine [Racked]
· Zak Pelaccio's Chop Suey swept in... and right back out [Eater]
· And the nabe was blessed by the nation's first Sanrio Luxe store [Racked]

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