The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. Let the eliminations commence!
In the battle of well-established neighborhoods that surprised us this year, Brooklyn’s Dumbo is up first.
The waterfront neighborhood saw some huge openings in 2017, beginning with Empire Stores, which—after years of renovation and build-up—finally opened in full to the public. It’s since become a bona fide destination, with an outpost of the Brooklyn Historical Society and buzzy restaurants like Cecconi’s and Celestine among its many draws. And the nearby 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is the neighborhood’s first true luxury hotel—and one that’s incredibly well-designed to boot.
On the real estate front, the Jehovah’s Witnesses continued to sell off their Dumbo properties, signaling big changes to come. One of those parcels, at 85 Jay Street, will eventually bring more than 700 apartments to the neighborhood. Buildings like 1 John Street welcomed residents, and new mixed-use developments like Dumbo Heights set the tone for similar projects (ahem, Panorama) to come.
Upper West Side (12)
The Upper West Side isn’t necessarily a neighborhood that’s synonymous with tall towers, but that changed in 2017; a bevy of towers are in the works, with the most recently announced—a 775-foot one designed by Snøhetta—due to be the neighborhood’s tallest. (Unsurprisingly, there’s already a backlash a’brewin’ to both that building, as well as a proposed 668-foot one on Amsterdam Avenue.)
It was also a big year on the megaproject front: The starchitect-helmed complex at Waterline Square, which has buildings designed by KPF, Richard Meier, and Rafael Viñoly, is now well underway. Meanwhile, closings began at One West End, the first Riverside Center building to welcome residents.
And even though there were setbacks on the cultural front—say goodbye to Thomas Heatherwick’s $500 million Lincoln Center redesign—the area remains a mainstay when it comes to theater, museums, and yes, even restaurants.
But now, the decision is in your hands: Which area should advance? Cast your vote below, and may the best neighborhood win.