Here ye, here ye — it's the last day of Curbed Cup 2015's Round 1! The first of two compelling, remaining matches pits Cabbagetown (No. 7) against crosstown brethren Westside (No. 10). Both places have tons going for them these days, but only one can emerge victorious. Reader nominations determined tournament seeding, and now voting for each pairing will end 24 hours after it begins. The quest for 2015's "Neighborhood of the Year" prestigious (fake) trophy hereby resumes. Let the eliminations commence!
In nominating Cabbagetown for this year's tourney, emailer Todd Kane made a fair point: "Where else can you eat chili and listen to bluegrass music in November?" That rhetorical question speaks to the idiosyncratic, boogie-woogie neighborliness that's always made C-town unique — and could bode well in its quest for Curbed Cup glory. This year saw Cabbagetown immersed in controversy not about underground Halloween parties but allegedly bourgeois building standards. Meanwhile, the Beltline's long-held promise about wending the Eastside Trail down Wylie Street (where mural art reached a new high this year) became slightly more real. On the flipside of Cabbagetown, redevelopments along Memorial Drive promise to have positive spillover effects. The neighborhood's desirability shows in how it's harder to find a single-family house here than a seat at Carroll Street Cafe's Sunday brunch.
Be warned that the boundaries of this contestant, as always, are a little nebulous. Nominations came in for western-fringe places like Howell Station and Blandtown, but enough people specifically nominated "Westside" to earn a No. 10 seed this year. Probably because the Westsiyeeeed is still sizzling. Two neighboring adaptive-reuse projects — Westside Ironworks and 1071 Howell Mill Road — are bringing retail and dining options that include Atlanta's second Barcelona outpost, sushi purveyors O-Ku and even a veterinary clinic. Elsewhere, TopGolf swung onto the scene this year, replacing a weedy industrial lot, and The Brady mixed-use piece rose up near Octane Coffee. Abattoir bowed out this year but was replaced in five seconds by a Ford Fry concept — the neighborhood's third such restaurant, after the lauded Optimist and JCT Kitchen. Westside charged to the finals in 2011 and the Final Four last year. Could this be the year it finally climbs the summit?