The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the Atlanta neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 challengers vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. This week we'll have two matchups per day, and all the results and the full tournament bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!
Curbed Cup 2015 officially kicks off today, and we're starting by pairing the top and bottom seeded neighborhoods against one another, as determined by your nominations, ATL. So, welcome neighborhoods from opposite sides of the compass — West End (No. 1) and East Atlanta (No. 16) — to the Cup!
(1) WEST END:
Clearly, West End was determined to get out the vote this year, racking up considerably more nominations than any other Atlanta neighborhood. Maybe that's because excitement is palpable in this Curbed Cup contender that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places but has its sites set firmly on the future. The Beltline's Westside Trail is barreling ahead here; West End has played host to multiple incarnations of Atlanta Streets Alive, and the neighborhood is slated to be part of Atlanta's bike-sharing network when it launches next year. What's more, this culturally and artistically rich neighborhood offers renovated old housing stock that won't break the bank, relative to its east-side counterparts. As a 10 seed, West End made the Curbed Cup's Elite 8 last year but ran into the buzz saw that was eventual champion Reynoldstown.
(16) EAST ATLANTA:
Surprisingly, East Atlanta made its Curbed Cup debut just last year — but had the misfortune of facing juggernaut Reynoldstown in the first round. Since then, the EAV has seen an upswing in large-scale construction (the 120-unit Alexan development) and inventive housing stock, while Paces Properties, the masterminds behind Krog Street Market, are signing tenants as part of a planned commercial spruce-up in the village. EAV offers some of the city's best nightlife, with unpretentious and eclectic bars like Mary's, The Earl, Argosy, Midway and Graveyard (to name but a few), while community-wide events like East Atlanta Strut, Corndogorama and the East Atlanta Beer Fest bring all of Atlanta together. Homeownership is more attainable here than with many intown nabes on the opposite side of Interstate 20.