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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (1) Brookhaven vs. (16) Inman Park

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The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the Atlanta neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 areas vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. This week we'll have two head-to-head matchups per day. All results and the full tournament bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Slotting was determined by preliminary voting, and obviously Brookhaven got motivated, while some heavy-hitters of tournaments past did not. Without further ado ... Let the eliminations commence!

In 2013, Brookhaven made its Curbed Cup debut, only to bow out rather early. But this year's nominations process — votes for Brookhaven truly flooded in — hinted that this sovereign enclave could be out for blood. And that could be indicative of a swelling population base in the single-family homes and apartments sprouting left and right around Buckhead's northern neighbor — or pride on the part of longtimers inspired by a growing slate of attractions around them. Town Brookhaven continues to come of age as a post-Recession retail magnet, and Brookhaven Village is a tucked-away town center on Dresden Drive with insane calamari tacos and enhanced walkability over last year. Ethnic dining options abound on Brookhaven's eastern flank — i.e., that world-renowned thoroughfare called Buford Highway. More affordable than most neighboring 'burgs, Brookhaven will still set homebuyers back a pretty penny, and some might disparage the area as being too country-clubby. (But at least Nancy Grace moved out). One nominator went so far as to dub Brookhaven "the crown jewel of the Southeast."

With the opening of Krog Street Market, the Eastside Trail's continued maturation and the coming-soon debut of the Inman Quarter project, you can't blame Inman Parkers for being a little busy. As in, too busy to cast many nominations this year. Inman Park, which holds the sacred Curbed Cup 2011 fake trophy, squeaked into this year's tourney as a 16 seed. Which doesn't mean it isn't special. Atlanta's first planned suburb has emerged from the depths of 1960s decrepitude to gain mention as one of America's loveliest neighborhoods. Chockfull of high-earning former hippies and attorneys you'd like to have a beer with, it's a leafy showcase of stunning Victorians and smartly renovated bungalows, hugged by convenient arteries to downtown and the Beltline. Already home to some of ATL's best restaurants (both Rathbun complexes, Sotto Sotto, etc.) IP's food and bar buzz has only begun; expect two new Ford Fry concepts in coming months, and good luck finding a seat at that crazy popular new marketplace. Downside: The cost of standalone homes in the land of black-and-yellow butterflies remains cosmically high, and Victory Sandwich is taking forever.

Poll results