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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (5) Harlem's FDB vs. (12) Hunters Point

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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!

The high seed going into the final first-round match of this year's Curbed Cup is Harlem's Frederick Douglass Boulevard, known to some as Eighth Avenue and to others as Harlem's Gold Coast. It earned the latter nickname for its condo boom, and its many new luxury developments have been selling fairly well. Aloft Hotel will open someday. Long-arrested developments Gateway and The Lore are returning to the land of the living, and after more than seven years, Frederick Douglass Circle is open. Plus there's that other sign of gentrification: an Upper West Side/Hamptons cookie bakery moved to the neighborhood this year.

Harlem's competitor in this round is Long Island City's Hunters Point, where gentrification also kept up its steady march in 2010. Steven Holl is designing a 21,000-square-foot library on the waterfront, and the bakery covered in rolling pins finally opened. On the new development side, LIC got its first moat. And there are big things yet to come at Hunters Point: developers are vying for the right to build megaproject/utopia Hunters Point South, and then there's the possible water taxi. Is Hunters Point ready to be the neighborhood of the year?

Poll results

· All Curbed Cup 2010 posts [Curbed]