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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (8) Greenpoint vs. (9) Gowanus

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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 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!

Greenpoint and Gowanus: these two gentrifying (some might argue already gentrified) Brooklyn neighborhoods are neck-and-neck in our initial seed of 16. No longer merely a stomping ground for kielbasa aficionados—it's the site of a restaurant renaissance and hip retail outlets, in fact—Girls-hyped Greenpoint continues to be the recipient of Williamsburg's spillover to the north, where apartments priced in the millions are now a regular occurrence, and lots of new residential developments and potential conversions are in the pipeline. Sure, the G train still stinks, even as pols work to increase service, but the major changes ahead for the area's waterfront in the former of tower-tastic projects like Greenpoint Landing (pictured above left, an old rendering) and 77 Commercial Street, which are bound to get approved in some form or another very soon, speak to even more transformation ahead.

As for Gowanus, the very imminent December 17 opening of the ginormous and contentious Whole Foods on the banks of the polluted (but not in 10 years!) Gowanus Canal is just one harbinger of its own evolution. There are other new destinations for artisanal food-lovers trend-seekers, too, plus a contested megadevelopment by the Lightstone Group, which promises to bring 700 rental units to the area, is also on the horizon.

Which neighborhood deserves to advance?

Poll results

· Curbed Cup 1st Round: (1) 57th St. vs. (16) Governors Island [Curbed]
· All Greenpoint coverage [Curbed]
· All Gowanus coverage [Curbed]
· All Curbed Cup 2013 coverage [Curbed]
—Gowanus Whole Foods photo (above right) via Brownstoner