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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (5) Crown Heights vs. (12) Astoria

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The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the New York City neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 areas vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. This week we'll have two matchups per day, and all the results and the full tournament bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!

Crown Heights had a huge 2014. The neighborhood saw rents rise faster than any other Brooklyn 'hood, and it's no longer uncommon to see townhouses in the area sell for more than $2 million. And thanks to a crush of new developments—with many more on the horizon—and a wave of high caliber restaurants, the market's upward movement isn't about to slow down. The Brownstoner crew opened the wildly popular Berg'n beer hall with a handful of well-established eateries, and Shanna Pacifico, a well-regarded chef from Back Forty in Manhattan, opened her own place on Franklin Avenue. Another big boon came with the opening of 1000 Dean, Brownstoner's creative business hub, and the winter arrival of the Brooklyn Flea. Oh, and we can't forget the neighborhood's first Starbucks.

Making its Curbed Cup debut, Astoria faces a tough challenge. The Queens waterfront neighborhood didn't see nearly as much action as Crown Heights, but the area did have its second megaproject green lit by the city. Despite a lot of controversy over affordable housing, Alma Realty nabbed approvals for Astoria Cove, a 1,700-unit mixed-use project. Additionally, Hallets Point is moving forward, another big project could be coming, and a handful of single-building developments are in the works. It's also worth pointing out this $5,000/month duplex set a new rental record for Astoria this year, which is just so quaint.

Poll results

· All Curbed Cup 2014 [Curbed]
· All Crown Heights coverage [Curbed]
· All Astoria coverage [Curbed]