Half the field has already been eliminated in the Curbed Cup, our annual award to the New York City neighborhood of the year. This week we'll have two match-ups apiece on Monday and Tuesday—with the polls left open for 24 hours—and by Wednesday only four contenders will be left vying for the prestigious fake trophy. Let the eliminations continue!
This match pits two Brooklyn neighborhoods against one another: welcome Downtown Brooklyn and Gowanus to the Curbed Cup Elite Eight!
Downtown Brooklyn easily trounced the competition (Mott Haven) in the first round of voting, which may have something to do with the fact that the Brooklyn neighborhood isn't exactly up-and-coming. Despite the development boom that's currently taking place—tall towers are rising, an Ace Hotel is in the works (possibly), and the neighborhood's own megaproject, City Point, is making swift progress—Downtown has plenty of things going for it beyond municipal buildings and universities, including cultural offerings (the New York Transit Museum, Issue Project Room), and dining and drinking options (Livingston Manor, Myrtle & Gold). Add to that the influx of tech companies in the area, and you have all the elements needed to transform the neighborhood in the next few years.
Upstart neighborhood Gowanus just squeaked its way into the Elite Eight round of voting, beating Dumbo by a mere 36 votes. The industrial area hasn't hit peak development in the way that other Brooklyn neighborhoods have—one commenter touted the neighborhood's quieter, "less tourist"-y vibe—but it could get there, thanks to an influx of bars, restaurants, and cultural offerings. And while Lightstone's 700 canal-adjacent apartments aren't exactly popular—another commenter said they "sit like a huge barnacle at the edge of the Historic Carroll [Street] bridge"—there's no doubt that they'll change the neighborhood in unprecedented ways.
So which neighborhood should move on to the Final Four? Cast your vote now!