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From Microdwellings to Joan Rivers, the Top Stories of 2014

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 11th Annual Curbed Awards! Up now: the year's most popular stories.

Gentrification and affordable housing stirred up the most debate during 2014, but that doesn't mean they were the most popular stories of the year. For Curbed readers, the best stories ranged from maps mocking New York's neighborhoods to an inside look at a billionaire's penthouse to an homage to Joan Rivers' opulent estate. Here now, the 14 most read stories of 2014.

14) The Priciest (and Cheapest) NYC Neighborhoods To Rent a 1BR
Rental rates rose like whoa across the city this year, so anything pointing to where to find the best deals (or areas to stay away from) went through the roof. Zumper created this map using to highlight the average cost of a one-bedroom rental by neighborhood during March of this year.

13) 49 Photos Inside a Billionaire's Totally Bonkers NYC Penthouse
This penthouse is the stuff of real estate legends. Created by ODA, it exists atop the Trump World Tower, and measures a whopping 18,000 square feet. It has a slew of completely over-the-top features, including a 30-foot waterfall and reflecting pool, a zen garden, a cigar room, a recording studio, a day spa and gym, and a barrel-vaulted wine cellar that holds 2,000 bottles.

12) Robert A.M. Stern's 220 Central Park South Tower, Revealed!
A wondrous tipster bestowed upon us the first renderings of 220 Central Park South, a highly anticipated tower designed by Robert A.M. Stern and developed by Vornado. The site had been in the news for awhile, but no visuals were released, so everyone went bananas when these images dropped.

11) This Infographic Nails Manhattan Neighborhood Stereotypes
It's always fun to poke fun at the cliches of one's city, and Apartment List was spot on with these caricatures of Manhattanites.

10) See Chinatown Residents Captured in Their Cramped Homes
Life for many residents of Manhattan's Chinatown is shockingly different than what most New Yorkers experience. Residents live in cramped quarters in old tenement buildings, like 81 Bowery, where people, mostly immigrants who work at construction sites or in restaurant kitchens, live in 64-square-foot cubicles. The photos shared here were taken by photographer Annie Ling as part of a four-year-long documentation of the neighborhood.

9) Remembering Joan Rivers's Real Estate Legacy: Her Palatial Upper East Side Apartment and More
When Joan Rivers died in September, the world lost not only a queen of comedy, but a queen of real estate, too. Rivers lived in an opulent Upper East Side pad that she completely adored; it was on the market for $29.5 million only "to please [her] business manager." She served as president of her condo board, so it was only fitting to pay homage to her by remembering her real estate legacy.

8) Olsen-Sarkozy Love Nest Is Now Bonkers $13.5M Turtle Bay TH
The peculiar May-December romance of Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy, combine with ridiculous real estate is internet gold. This year, the lovebirds swapped love nests, moving from the East Village to an ornate Turtle Bay townhouse fit for an evil villain.

7) Tour an Impressively Roomy 425-Square-Foot NYC Apartment
Small space living never ceases to amaze, especially when a microdwelling is kitted out with custom space-saving features. This 425-square-foot duplex features a bedroom that cantilevers over the kitchen, as well as stairs that double as storage.

6) Where to Watch the 4th of July Fireworks in NYC, 2014 Edition
After five years on the Hudson River, the city's Fourth of July fireworks display moved back to the East River, and New Yorkers clamored for viewing sites. Our map of 26 locations came in handy.

5) The 44 New Developments Hitting The Market This Spring
New developments are the lifeblood of the beast that is New York City real estate, so everyone is always eager to find out what's coming next. This 44-point map highlighted dozens of condos and rentals that launched in the spring.

4) Trump Soho Heads to Foreclosure Due to Unsellable Condos
It may seem strange that a story about the Trump Soho was one of the most popular stories of 2014, but the news broke the day after Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino closed in Atlantic City, so the internet couldn't get enough of the Donald.

3) 42 Star Projects Transforming Architecture in New York City
Many people bemoan the abundance of glass boxes rising in New York, but there are dozens of buildings designed by top-notch architects that are transforming the city. This map charts a starchitect-dotted path through Brooklyn and Manhattan, highlighting the best of what's to come for our skyline.

2) Here Now, Mapping Where 243 NYC Celebrities Live Right Now
Celebrity real estate never gets old, so a map of where 243 celebrities live in New York is really just a wonderful gift for everyone, if not a little bit stalkerish.

1) This New York City Map Will Offend Pretty Much Everyone
Politically incorrect humor: still going strong. The most read post of 2014 was this semi-offensive map, which labeled neighborhoods with their stereotypes, no matter how unflattering. The amateur cartographer only included "the parts that matter," which left out most of the Bronx and Queens, plus Staten island, so that definitely offended people right off the bat.
· All Curbed Awards 2014 [Curbed]