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First Round: (6) Kirkwood vs. (11) Ormewood Park

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The Curbed Cup, our annual search for Atlanta's neighborhood of the year, continues with two Round One match-ups a day until the results and full tourney bracket of 16 'hoods is revealed on Friday. Today's first face-off is a massive one involving tight-knit neighborhoods with a strong sense of community: reigning Curbed Cup champion Kirkwood versus scrappy Ormewood Park. Can Kirkwood become the first neighborhood to win two years in a row? Will Ormewood shake things up with an underdog upset? No one can decide but you. You have a 24 hours to cast your ballot.

Once known more for its crime issues than its stellar sense of community, Kirkwood and its let's-have-each-other's-back mentality managed to secure a win in last year's Curbed Cup and things have only been looking up since then. Take your eyes off of the village for two days and you'll come back to find another new shop and two new renovations. From boutique wine to Ethiopian coffee to a family music school, businesses are flocking to the area. Residents enjoy a bike-able, walkable community where (unlike neighboring Oakhurst, Candler Park and Lake Clare) you can still get a renovated three-bedroom bungalow in the $300,000s. Now if only they could do something with Pullman Yard and the schools.

Beltline-adjacent Ormewood Park made its Curbed Cup debut last year, only to get knocked out in the first round by Grant Park. If the historic neighborhood is going to turn the tides, it has to start by beating last year's champion — no small feat — yet if any community looks out for one another as much as Kirkwood, it could well be Ormewood Park. We're talking serious neighborhood pride. Granted, part of that is out of necessity; the area is still battling some pretty significant crime stats. What the mostly residential neighborhood lacks in amenities, it makes up for with its close proximity to the restaurants, shops and attractions of Grant Park and East Atlanta. Plus, housing in Ormewood is still some of the most affordable you'll find anywhere intown, for the quality. You can, for example, get a beautiful fully renovated three-bedroom bungalow for less than $200K.

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