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Curbed Cup 2011 Match-Up #3: Decatur vs. Inman Park Vote for the Best Neighborhood in Atlanta

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The Curbed Cup, our first annual award to the Atlanta neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 8 'hoods vying for the prestigious fake trophy. Here is the bracket with the complete pool of competitors; this week we'll have one match-up per day, and all the results and the full tourney bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends in the wee hours the next morning. Let the eliminations commence!

Round 3: Decatur vs. Inman Park
The contest was a lot closer, but Midtown West edged out Candler Park. Yet another potentially bloody battle today, as two of Atlanta's most progressive and desirable 'hoods battle it out: Decatur and Inman Park.

For your consideration, a neighborhood that's actually its own city, but this is Atlanta and our sprawl makes cities de facto neighborhoods, and vice versa. We refer of course to Decatur. This east side hamlet in Dekalb County has a population of about 20,000, and is among Atlanta's most progressive matters of transit, sustainability, education and "place-making," it is miles ahead of much of the competition. Its downtown is arguably Atlanta's densest, most walkable district of dining, shopping and entertainment, and it's become a beacon particularly for chef-entrepreneurs and the foodies that follow them. The presence of multiple institutions of higher education (primarily Emory University and Agnes Scott) contributes much to the rich fabric of the community as well. As you'll read later on Curbed, its housing market has recovered as much (or more) as any other 'nabe in town, and with its transit infrastructure in line to be upgraded even further with T-SPLOST, the future would only seem to be getting brighter for Decatur. We could go on, but we won't.

Moving just a few miles west and slightly south from Decatur, one finds oneself in Inman Park, a community steeped in city planning history (the entire 'hood is on the National Register of Historic Places and was Atlanta's first 'planned suburb') and long considered one of Atlanta's premier places to live in-town. It's got urban cred in spades, located just a couple of miles from downtown, and its collection of Victorian homes with grand porches nestled into a network of parks are inhabited by a diverse population including some of Atlanta's most notable movers and shakers in the worlds of business and politics. Inman Park residents would put their festivals and collection of restaurants, shops and watering holes up against any other in the Atlanta area, and in addition to a MARTA stop of their own, Inman Park-ers enjoy the ability to walk or bike to other prime Atlanta 'nabes like Candler Park, Virginia Highland and Midtown. Part of the allure of places like Inman Park is that they can't make any more of it is treasured and fiercely protected by its citizens- beware interlopers!

Almost a shame we have to choose between these two places, but there's not room for 2 names on the coveted (fake) trophy awarded to the winner of the 2011 Curbed Cup. Make your feelings now!

Poll results