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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (1) West Chelsea vs. (16) St. George

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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!

The Curbed Cup officially kicks off today, and we're starting by pairing the top and bottom seeded neighborhoods against one another: welcome West Chelsea (no. 1) and St. George, Staten Island (no. 16) to the Cup!

West Chelsea also started the 2014 Curbed Cup as the no. 1 seed, but was knocked out in the first round; we think the neighborhood deserves another shot. Its transformation from an industrial enclave to hip, starchitect-approved neighborhood has been swift, and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Zaha Hadid's swooping, pricey condos on West 28th Street finally hit the market (with a luxe sales gallery to match), as did The Fitzroy, helmed by the design dream team Roman & Williams. Meanwhile, new projects by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld (the lush, garden-inspired Jardim) and starchitect du jour Bjarke Ingels are in the works, cementing the neighborhood's reputation as a haven for high-end residences. And even though it's technically in the Meatpacking District, the Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum joined the High Line as a major cultural player in the area, giving tourists even more reason to venture west. (Just wait until Anthony Bourdain's food hall opens at Pier 57.…)

At the other end of the bracket is St. George, a previous Curbed Cup winner (in 2013) that's seen its fair share of development in the past year. Construction finally began (with City Council approval) on the New York Wheel, which will tower over Staten Island's North Shore when it's completed in 2017; meanwhile, the National Lighthouse Museum opened near the Staten Island Ferry terminal, giving joyriders another reason to actually disembark and wander through the neighborhood. In terms of real estate, St. George also had a big year, with two condos in the Accolade on Bay Street selling for more than a million dollars—the first in the borough to do so. Does that mean things are a'changing on Staten Island? Time will tell—but in the meantime, you can let us know if you think St. George deserves to advance ahead of West Chelsea by casting your vote.

Poll results

· All West Chelsea Coverage [Curbed]
· All St. George Coverage [Curbed]
· All Curbed Cup 2015 Coverage [Curbed]