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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (1) Park Slope vs. (16) Roosevelt Island

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The Curbed Cup, our annual award to the New York City neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 'hoods vying for the prestigious fake trophy. This week we'll have two matchups per day, and all the results and the full tourney bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends in the wee hours the next morning. Let the eliminations commence!

Not only does Brooklyn's Park Slope head in as the people's choice (it received double the reader nods of the next most popular Curbed Cup nominee), but this year it was scientifically proven to be NYC's most "livable" neighborhood and got the city's most controversial new bike lane. Quite the achievements, and so the Slope is our top seed. Did the economic downturn ever make it down here? The retail and restaurant scenes continue to expand, starchitects are showing up, wealthy Googlers are renovating $8.5 mansions and $18,000/month rentals are on the market. But every giant has weaknesses. The neighborhood's outskirts still leave something to be desired, and even some Slopers loathe the place. But as one reader put it, "If it's good enough for New York magazine and the American Planning Association, it should be good enough for Curbed."

And in the other corner, the Curbed Cup's scrappy underdog, Roosevelt Island. It's been a banner year for the forgotten isle, headlined by the stunning/font-plagued new Roosevelt Island tram. A makeover of the depressing retail drag looks imminent, and the under-the-radar Four Freedoms Park shook off decades of controversy and funding troubles to finally break ground. Roosevelt Island, everyone: A place that actually exists!

UPDATE: There are shocking?shocking?reports of ballot box stuffing going on (on both sides!). Our tech department will be doing an IP address recount, so cut it out, kids. This is not how democracy works!

Poll results

· All Curbed Cup 2010 coverage [Curbed]

[Park Slope photo via; Roosevelt Island photo via.]