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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (2) UWS vs. (15) Ditmas Park

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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!

As one of the commenters to nominate the Upper West Side for a Curbed Cup seed put it, "this once bland neighborhood has definitely begun a transition that should be noticed." For one thing, there's a new Trader Joe's. For another, that Trader Joe's is located inside The Corner, the flashy and pricey rental building that has injected some fashion sense into the 'hood. Riverside Center made some key progress, and Lincoln Center's makeover continued. The Apthorp finally started closings, and the occasional apartment still sells for $10,000 a foot.

The residents of the UWS's first-round competitor, Brooklyn's Ditmas Park, may have been happy to be left out of the New York Magazine top 50. But that didn't stop a number of them from nominating the 'hood, mostly for the restaurant renaissance it's had this year on Cortelyou Road (including a star from the Times!). "The area has really transformed dramatically this year," said one nominator. "It is on an exponential growth chart in terms of happenin'-ness." Even if, to some, "happenin'-ness" is code for gentrification.

Poll results

· All Curbed Cup 2010 coverage [Curbed]
[Ditmas Park image via Wall Street Journal.]