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Why Atlantans think their neighborhoods are the best in 2016

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A record number of nominations poured in for Curbed Cup 2016. Because pride.

The hallowed winners of Curbed Cups past.

Last week, a call went out for “Neighborhood of the Year” nominations to determine which 16 ‘hoods would earn entry into Atlanta’s Curbed Cup, that magical, annual quest for a nonexistent trophy.

Atlantans responded like never before.

The record number of nominations ensures that this year’s tourney will see fresh blood alongside stalwarts and previous Curbed Cup winners.

Below is a sampling of input that accompanied neighborhood nominations — in some cases edited for length, and in all cases uncorrected for entertainment — spanning the city.

Not all of these places scored enough nods to earn a slot in the 16-seed bracket, but it’s nonetheless clear that ATLiens are proud to be there. They explain why below:

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O4W:

1. Old Fourth Ward - Ponce City Market (mic dropped)

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Collier Hills

“I mean, let's be real here. The Westside Beltline runs right through the neighborhood. With the announcement of the Atlanta Memorial Park face-lift and new paths being constructed around Bobby Jones Golf Course and Bitsy Grant Tennis Center (two Atlanta staples of their own), this neighborhood is one hot celebrity away from real estate stardom. Once I open up Atlanta's first drive-up grab + go eatery / coffee station on the acclaimed Echota Dr NW, you'll truly understand the real meaning of Atlanta traffic. Boom.”

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Westview:

“I’m nominating the Westview neighborhood! Westview has amazing Craftsman homes, sits right on the SW Beltline, and is one of the most inclusive and community minded neighborhoods around.”

“[Westview] is a lovely, up-and-coming community with a lot of momentum, especially from the Beltline Westside Trail which is nearing completion. The neighborhood is filed with beautiful turn-of-the-century craftsman bungalows and old growth trees. It was one of Atlanta's first streetcar neighborhoods. The main gate of Westview Cemetery is one of the oldest existing structures in Atlanta. Westview also just installed one of the 18 mural bike racks. Many homes and businesses are undergoing renovation due to the development of the Westside Trail. Westview Bestview!”

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Buckhead (the lone nomination)

“Buckhead all day. Hatin ass hipsters can suck a fat one with they jealous ass.”

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West End:

“Going for two cups in a row :)”

“West End … Because it’s awesome”

“I close on a house in 10 days in West End, December 15. I joined their facebook group last week and went to their Christmas Cookie Swap / Tree Lighting & then a Christmas Party Soiree. I felt like I gained 100 new friends that were so welcoming! It also doesn’t hurt that the Christmas Party was sponsored by Old Fourth Distillery. That is just out of bounds!”

Peeples Street, West End.
Curbed Atlanta photo essay

“West End. Reason: No neighborhood offers the combination of history, proximity, space and affordability. I closed on and renovated a 1700 SF 1930s all-brick home on 1/3 acre for less than $150k all-in. I am less than 5 minutes from downtown, 10 from midtown, and 15 from Buckhead and I have great access to MARTA if I want to leave my car at home. I live within a 5 minute walk of a great public golf course and between westview cemetary, rose circle park, and the parks on cascade and ralph david abernathy, 'active' amenities abound. The only thing we're missing is the boutique-y retail amenities of an inman park, which will change in 2017 when Mondaynight brewing and honesuckle gelato move into their spaces next to the west end marta station. Add that to the fact that the area still feels like an actual neighborhood vs. places like inman park and old 4th ward which are quickly becoming mid-rise apartment city and you can see why I nominated the west end as neighborhood of the year.”

“West End is the best end! You need only look at the hashtag #westendbestend to see that our neighborhood is the coolest thing in Atlanta right now. We are red HOT!”

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Midtown:

“Midtown is definitely on the move! With continued residential and commercial development, transitioning Colony Square, new restaurants like 5 Church, The Establishment, The Lawrence and phenomenal rebranding that depicts this new community persona by Midtown Alliance, Midtown is well deserving!”

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Inman Park:

“I would like to nominate Inman Park as best neighborhood and here are some reasons why:

1) We are a community committed to improving the lives not only for our immediate neighbors, but also for all folks living in the city.

2) We are a very active neighborhood having been instrumental in: a) stopping the highway that was to be built in Freedom Park b) numerous political campaigns c) numerous school board decisions d) transportation issues especially around all the new development in the area e) crime concerns and working closely with our police to improve safety.

Inman Quarter.
Eater Atlanta

3) We have a plethora of old and new thriving businesses including bars, restaurants, music venues, theaters, health and yoga studios, clothing stores, etc. as well as the little 5 points business community.

4) We have worked hard to preserve our historic designation as “Atlanta’s first suburb” with our old houses, but we have been forward thinking in how to blend new developments in with the old. We have been quite proactive in working with new developers on the front end of developments to assure that the process goes smoothly and that we work with them to get developments that help meet some of the needs of those living in the area.

5) We put on the largest and one of the most successful all volunteer run neighborhood festival in the southeast- the Inman Park Spring Festival and Tour of Homes that raises money for the neighborhood, our schools, parks, and numerous other concerns affecting lives of all who live in the city.”

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East Atlanta

“East Atlanta: Community, walkability, diversity, restaurants and bars.”

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Kirkwood:

“Top 5 reasons why:

1- In January, 2016 we had our first-ever Lanta-Gras Parade, inspired by a resident who grew up in New Orleans and missed Mardi Gras. Its mission is to establish a program offering brass & percussion musical instruction to middle- and high-school kids in Kirkwood and East Lake.

2 - Cottage in the Back, a private backyard hosting monthly live music shows. They’re usually at night, but this year they also had an amazing Gospel Brunch.

3 - Kirkwood Spring Fling is one of the only neighborhood festivals in the city still produced by volunteer residents of the neighborhood. 2016’s Fling, the 14th annual, drew record-breaking crowds for its live music, artists market, BBQ competition, kids activities & more.

4 - New ceramics collective, new salon/spa, new yoga studio, new ice cream shop, new eco-friendly kids’ store, new apartments going up…lots going on here!!!

5 - Friendliest neighbors intown. Neighbors who, for example, offer half a working fridge to save your food if your power goes out. My Grant Park friend is jealous.”

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Downtown:

“Hello, I'm nominating Downtown Atlanta, even though I don't currently live there.

The reason Downtown is so great is the people. Saturday morning coffee, traditional annual parties, impromptu get-togethers for dinner. Of course, there's all those fabulous tourist attractions as well as concerts and games within walking distance....no reason to have a car here! I made the mistake of moving away last year, but my plans are to move back in next year! I really miss the neighborhood!”

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College Park:

“I think of College Park as a racially-diverse Mayberry and a rarity in Atlanta: a harmonious, diverse city with a small-town feel 15 minutes from downtown (barring hellish Atlanta traffic, but Atlanta's southside is still less congested than the northside). Historic College Park is very much a walkable neighborhood, full of dog owners and young families who make use of the extensive sidewalks and beautiful tree coverage in the summer on Rugby Avenue. The historic section has a well-maintained park, playground (Almost Christmas recently shot in Barrett Park) and tennis courts where I've seen soccer and even cricket teams practice. The neighborhood is a mix of black and white, but also gay residents, young couples, longtime older homeowners, the well-heeled parents of Woodward students (some of whom still have homes in the northern suburbs) but also lovers of small, historic bungalows who take great pride in their homes and gardens.

The city has held onto its historic homes and managed to balance that with the construction of larger homes while still maintaining the unique, architecturally diverse feel of the neighborhood. In recent years, College Park has added a speakeasy, indie art gallery, street art, a hip coffee shop and while it's not yet Decatur, College Park manages to be a livable, close-to-the-city alternative for those still looking for affordable homes and a chill, uncongested quality of life.”

The new Pad on Harvard community in College Park.
The Pad

“COLLEGE PARK! It has the tightest community I have ever seen. Lots of local businesses who support one another and amazing neighborhood parties. Thanks.”

“College Park Historic District … Wonderfully diverse neighborhood with over 800 properties on the National Register of Historic Places (first recognized 20 years ago in 1996). A diverse, scrappy, funny/funky neighborhood. A living “catalog” of 20th century architecture. A community of black, white, straight, gay, liberal, progressive, conservative, artists, crafts, teachers, people of all ages. A place of sidewalks, walkers (with and without metal “walkers), runners, bicyclists. A place of un-organized Halloween with thousands (usually 3,000 +) kids and adults. A place that too often gets a ‘bad rap,’ but has helped birth great ‘rap musicians’ — we know and live with and in such contradictions. We are ‘Atlanta concentrated’ — with its joy, problems, past, and future. In short, the College Park Historic District embraces ever so much — we’re a ‘stew’ of many ingredients which each blends with each other and still keeps its own ‘flavor.’”

(The following input is greatly condensed for space)

NEIGHBORHOOD: College Park Historic District

Traffic: we have none. I mean, not NONE, but it's a BREEZE to live here. In my community, I'm never in a traffic jam. I can go grocery shopping, to the cleaners, to dinner, and get home all on my bike; if I'm in the car, I'm never sitting in traffic. What's even more miraculous is how easy a commute from CPHD is for people who work downtown. At peak rush hour in the morning, I can still be at Sam Flax in 20-25 minutes by taking Main Street (Hwy 29) almost all of the way into the belly of the beast.”

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Cabbagetown:

“I would like to nominate Cabbagetown because of the sense of community the neighbors have. We have events like The Christmas Crawl, the Halloween Pub Crawl, Chomp and Stomp, back yard alley potlucks and just a whole bunch of fun. Everybody's welcome in Cabbagetown!”

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Candler Park:

“Candler Park is the BEST place to live in. It is not overrun by upscale yuppie restaurants that seem to make others think a neighborhood is great. We have the Candler Park Festival, the golf course with a beaver dam where otters have been spotted. Mary Lin is a great elementary school. We are also home to the original Flying Biscuit and then there is Felinis, Dr. Bombay, and La Fonda and others. Also a great shop to buy wedding dresses.

We have not yet been totally overrun by mega mansions although there are some over sized houses. Candler Park is within walking distance to a MARTA station and Fernbank Museum. On the corner of Oakdale we have a little pop up café serving Hungarian crepes several days a week. Also a wonderful florist on the opposite corner of Oakdale and McClendon. Candler Park is a terrific walking neighborhood. We are close to the PATH and the Olmstead parks. Within a little longer walking distance is downtown Decatur and in the other direction is the Carter Center, Ponce City Market, and the Beltline. Emory University is also within walking distance. All of these features add up to the best neighborhood to live in in Atlanta.”

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Pine Hills

“My nomination is Pine Hills Neighborhood. Beyond the fact that the neighborhood is comprised of beautiful homes on large properties with large pines and rolling hills, the neighborhood is centrally located between Brookhaven and Buckhead and within minutes of world class shopping and dining. Pine Hills has an active community that supports a variety of annual events from a Halloween decoration contest to yard sales. Several parks and a swim club are all within an easy walk.”

“A beautiful quiet neighbor behind Lenox Rd. The streets are lined with pine trees creating a beautiful shady neighborhood with a great park for kids. You can't even tell you're in the middle of Buckhead! It's the best neighborhood!”

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Edgewood:

“I'd like to nominate my new neighborhood - Edgewood. Just since we've moved in 6 months ago, development has exploded ... I know things will only heat up in 2017 as these projects wrap up and spur further development. Plus, we had a Mattress Firm on Moreland before it was the cool trendy thing for Reynoldstown ;)”

“Edgewood! We’re a economically and racially diverse neighborhood that works to facilitate connections across barriers that normally keep people separated. We have an amazing community garden, a precious elementary school and really fun neighborhood parties! Edgewood is a great place to get to know people that are different from you and make lifetime friends.”

An Edgewood modern.
Curbed Atlanta photo essay

“I nominate Edgewood! It's an amazing neighborhood that's struggling to improve economic and crime statistics without completely gentrifying. It's home to the beautiful Walker Park. It is also home to a new branch of the Wylde Center, the Edgewood Community Garden, and the amazing nonprofit Whitefoord, which pioneered school-based health care.”

“I nominate Edgewood for the neighborhood of the year for so many reasons. Number 1 being community. We have an awesome group of residents that are proud to call Edgewood home. We had our first annual neighborhood festival in the Mac and cheese festival and it was a total success bringing in people from all over the city. We have an unusual amount of construction going on that will bring new residents, shops and restaurants and green space. Look no further! Edgewood is it!!”

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East Lake

“I would like to nominate East Lake. So much is going on with a new restaurant district at Hosea & 2nd, very cool Poor Hendrix and Greater Good BBQ and more to come this spring.”

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Summerhill:

“I nominate SUMMERHILL. Summerhill is the oldest neighborhood in Atlanta. Once a thriving place, it has been held back by the sea of parking lots and Turner Field.

The investment from Carter and Georgia State University show that Summerhill is the next up and coming neighborhood as the intown movement continues to move south.

Georgia Ave. is on track to become one of the best streets in Atlanta with neighborhood retail that will have unique vibes.

Summerhill is 10 minutes from the airport, 1 mile from downtown, 1 mile from Grant Park... and easily accessible from I-20 and I-75/85.”

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Chamblee

“Up and coming developments. Close to a lot of parks and improving walkability with trails. Good schools. Close to perimeter and buckhead. Small town feel within the city.”

“I nominate the city of Chamblee as my top pick. Since moving to Atlanta two years back, I have lived in Chamblee for a year. The city officials are very efficient and extremely helpful in providing information or helping in any way, right from the Parks and Recreation department to the Public Works department. I am fortunate to be living in such a great city. PS: The 4th of July fireworks event attracts neighbors from all over Atlanta”

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Ormewood Park:

“I’d like to nominate Ormewood Park as Neighborhood of the Year. OP is a vibrant, family-oriented neighborhood that exemplifies what Atlanta is all about. We have a great tradition as one of the earliest suburbs of Terminus, balanced with an influx of new families, ideas and influences. We have great schools, a wonderful social scene, the hottest Trick or Treating scene in the metro area, and we’re strategically located near so many of Atlanta’s top attractions (Downtown, Grant Park/Zoo, EAV, L5P, Cabbagetown, etc.) We even have a hidden 6-acre oasis right in the middle of the ‘hood in Red’s Farm.”

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Reynoldstown:

“Reynoldstown! So much happening in this little corner of Atlanta at the intersection of the Memorial corridor transformation and the Beltline, and of the Inman Park Festival and Chomp and Stomp. The neighborhood is starting to show some much needed spine by rejecting the proposed plans for the Ant Building and the resulting “suburbanization” of the in-town landscape.

Neighborliness continues to be a wonderful hallmark of Reynoldstown with its eclectic mix of old and new (architecture and people) along with species diversity (dogs and cats galore, possums, hawks, an owl, coyotes, and the Springvale Park great blue heron).”