It's time to make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to the most deserving people, places and things in the real estate architecture, and neighborhood universes of New York City. Yep, it's time for the Eighth Annual Curbed Awards! Here now: neighbors and the neighborhoods they call home!
Lost Neighborhood Landmarks of the Year
4) The Willis Reed Tunnel: Remove some of the Knicks' short supply of genuine karma at your own risk, Charles Dolan.
3) 35 Cooper Square: Situated as it was right across from Curbed HQ, we all espied the funeral held for the old girl at the ripe old age of 186.
2) Mars Bar: After the Mars Bar, then what? Oh. Condos.
1) H&H Bagels: And with it, a doughy piece of the Upper West Side.
Threatened Neighborhood Landmarks That Are Somehow Still Standing
3) Ray's Candy Store: The perennially embattled East Village haunt made it through another year, but not before a few more run-ins with the city.
2) St. Mark's Bookshop: This iconic place to buy words bound in vellum remains open after a brokered lease deal, but how long can Scott Stringer keep the wolves—and Kindles—at bay?
1) Essex Street Market: As a "Save the Essex Street Market" group kicked into existence, plans were floated for a fancy new market. Fear not, ESM lovers: the new plans are part of SPURA, and as such are likely to be realized no sooner than 2119.
Biggest Neighborhood Breakup
Perennial Upper West Sider Alec Baldwin decides to reinvent himself as a hip downtowner, selling his place at Central Park West's El Dorado for $11.7 million and moving into the Devonshire House penthouse on East 10th Street. So how's Baldwin liking the new nabe? Per his recent chat with Conan O'Brien, the Village is "one big bus depot for drunken young people." Who knew?
The Triumph of the Dirty Panties Award
To the NIMBY neighbors surrounding the Cooper Square Hotel, who for years festooned the outdoor dining and drinking sections of the East Village's answer to outlandish Middle Eastern modern architecture with all manners of inappropriate clothesline oddities. Booyeah, NIMBYs! The Coop is closing! To be replaced by—er, an André Balazs joint. Despite promises from the new proprietor that Standard East "is going to be a more mellow alternative to all the boom in your West side room," this war may not yet have seen its last battle.
And Yet That Wasn't Even The Weirdest Thing To Happen on The Bowery
Because this happened.
The Best Two Minutes To Come Out of the Bike Lane Wars This Year
Or perhaps ever.
Neighborhood Retail Landmark Comebacks of the Year
Just when you thought they were down and out... they weren't.
3) East Village's grimy coffee bar The Bean, a First Avenue staple for at least a few years now, shutters and then is reborn first as a profit-free foodtruck and then as the sleek new Bean 2.0 on Second Avenue, featuring, awww, a very sweet painting of the old location on the wall.
2) It's still got a year to go, but the Chumley's building at 86 Bedford Street—the West Village speakeasy that collapsed so many moons ago—is no longer a "despair-inducing hole in the ground." Progress!
1) Coney Island stalwarts including Paul's Daughter, Ruby's, and the Original Coney Island Beach Shop ink long-term boardwalk leases and suddenly everyone's got caviar hottdog dreams for Summer 2012.
Best Neighborhood Beef Over the Proper Location of The Met
As a post-holiday special, we're now offering "I Survived the Fifth Avenue Border War of 2011" t-shirts for 50% off.
Best Neighborhood Beef Over Outdoor Dining and Canada
So someone this year came up with the seemingly nifty idea to replace certain parking spaces with platforms for outdoor dining. How delightful! Well, not to the sort of Soho residents who attend community board meetings and made sure the scourge of "gutter dining" didn't spread to their hood. The method used to discredit the plan? A comparison to Canada: "Astonishingly, DOT representatives pointed out that these gutter cafés are popular in—get this—Halifax, Nova Scotia. Can you believe that this agency wants the Greatest City in the World to resemble the provincial capital of a tiny peninsula somewhere in the north Atlantic Ocean? What are these guys tripping on, diesel fumes?"
Best Evisceration of a Neighborhood's Residents in a Single Hiring Sign
Godspeed and goodonya, Vinnie's Pizzeria of Williamsburg.
The Joey Arak Award for Excellence in Stuy-Town Inanity
Named in honor of the former Curbed editor and onetime noted Stuyvestant Town resident.
3) Stuy Town cops want to ticket misbehaving dogs!
2) Stuy Town wants you, yes you, to stop smoking pot right this second!
1) Stuy Town residents want to buy Stuy Town! My God, what are they smoking?
The Curse of the NYT Real Estate Section Award
To the South Street Seaport neighborhood, which received its shining moment in the sun from the Times just as construction crews moved in to turn the entire cobblestoned district into a seeping Peck Pit for the next two years.
Beloved Hated Neighborhood Celebrity
To David Cross, longtime beloved resident of the East Village, who finally threw in the towel and took off for Brooklyn, breaking hearts of Villagers while telling Gothamist, "It's mildly heartbreaking. It's just becoming more and more like a mall. I might as well be in St. Louis. It's very, very quickly, rapidly losing a lot of its character." Don't let the 7-Eleven hit your ass on the way to Cobble Hill, dudeski.
The New Neighborhood Nicknames of 2011
Also known as the nicknames to be forgotten by 2012.
The Friendliest Neighbors Metal
Proof that the written word is alive and well
All things considered, a disappointing year for passive-aggressive neighbor notes. C'mon, people, let's get pissier in the new year. Meantime, at least we've always got Long Island City, where the management of Citylights lowered the boom on egg throwing from high windows.
The NIMBY Award for Outstanding NIMBYism
Finally, the prestigious NIMBYs of the Year Award is hereby presented to the residents of 150 Charles Street in the Far West Village for the creation of the epic video rendered above. Clocking in at just over 11 minutes, and bearing the understated title "The Rape of the West Village," it features professional voiceover and production values heretofore not seen in neighborhood battles as a means of fighting the conversion of the old Whitehall Storage facility. We recline our chairs with respect and say to the other NIMBYs in our midst: game on for 2012, friends.
· All Curbed Awards 2011 coverage [Curbed]