It's been a long, strange trip, but only two neighborhoods remain, clawing toward Mount Olympus, vying for the coveted title of Curbed Cup 2013 "Neighborhood Of The Year." Let's all congratulate these scrappy underdogs, Kirkwood and Grant Park, the lowest seeds to ever make it this far in the Atlanta tournament (because, frankly, it was an eight-neighborhood contest in years past). We like to think this is the product of two strong but sometimes overlooked communities that have mobilized to make a statement — and bask in the glory that is the fake but sacred Curbed Cup trophy.
Neither path to the finals was easy. The 2011 and 2012 champions were toppled. A nasty bickering match broke out, replete with whispers of a conspiracy and a suggestion that this whole virtual tournament is an evil trap. What all of that signals is raw passion, which should be the lifeblood of any improving neighborhood — and city, for that matter. After the jump, see a quick recap and vote for one of these deserving finalists. Voting will close on Jan. 2.
Tenth-seeded Kirkwood leapt out of the gates with a victory over Poncey-Highland and then shocked many with a bludgeoning of 2011 champion (and last year's runner-up) Inman Park. What followed was a duel between this proud community of I'll-watch-your-house-while-you're-on-vacation neighbors and Midtown, the pulsing, cosmopolitan heart of Atlanta. After a 24-hour voting period of chest-pounding and way too much vitriol, Kirkwood emerged victorious, with 55 percent of 3,248 votes.
Meanwhile, 12th-seeded Grant Park has continued its steady march toward Curbed Cup immortality. Most recently, Grant Park took down a true heavyweight in reigning champion Old Fourth Ward, gathering an impressive 64 percent of 1,027 votes. Prior to that, Grant Park eliminated two neighbors: Cabbagetown and higher-seeded Ormewood Park.
Without further ado, let's get it on ...