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Curbed Cup Elite Eight: (1) Lower East Side vs. (8) Midtown East

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Which neighborhood should advance? Cast your vote now!

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!

(1) Lower East Side

The Elite Eight round of the Curbed Cup kicks off today with two well-established neighborhoods, albeit ones with very different stories. First up is the Lower East Side, which has had a banner year thanks to major developments like the Essex Crossing megaproject.

That’s in addition to the literally thousands of new apartments coming to the neighborhood, many of them on the high end of things; as we put it this summer, “the next wave of Lower East Side gentrification is on,” thanks in part to this building boom.

It also continues to be one of New York’s epicenters for nightlife and culture, with a seemingly unstoppable wave of new restaurants, hotels, shops, galleries, and more.

(8) Midtown East

Head a few miles uptown and you’ll find our second Elite Eight contender, Midtown East. Like the Lower East Side, it’s not exactly an up-and-coming neighborhood, but it’s also poised for big changes.

That’s largely due to the 78-block rezoning that was unanimously approved this summer, which is set to create 6.8 million square feet of new office space and modernize the neighborhood.

And other game-changing projects made progress this year: One Vanderbilt, the 1,400-foot tower rising next to Grand Central Terminal, is now on the rise, and will eventually bring transit improvements and a sky-high observation deck with it.

It’s now up to you to pick which neighborhood should advance to the next round. Cast your vote below, and may the best neighborhood win!