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Curbed Cup Round 1: Venice (12) vs. Koreatown (5)

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Here it is: the 2012 Curbed Cup race for the Los Angeles Neighborhood of the Year. Round one of our tournament features 16 'hoods vying for the coveted golden jpeg--we'll have two matchups every day through Thursday, then take a look at our tournament bracket on Friday. Voting for each poll ends 24 hours after opening (and will be watched closely for any shenanigans). Let the neighborhood on neighborhood carnage begin!

This is the year that Venice, gentrifying for years now, officially got un-weird: Abbot Kinney, named GQ's "Coolest Block in America" (soooo uncool), is filled up with chain stores, Rose is lined with trendy restaurants, and the Silicon Beach tech explosion is actually a real thing. Meanwhile there were crackdowns on vendors at the Boardwalk and a surprisingly contentious zipline plan that's been delayed until 2013. And then there was the private "gourmet bathing" club at Anjelica Huston's house (those plans seem to have died). On the "still cool" side, producer Joel Silver is renovating the old post office and moving his production company to the neighborhood, renovation work is haltingly beginning at the long-empty Lincoln Place, and there are still plenty of old-timers raising a ruckus.

Koreatown got its own online reality show this year--which other neighborhood did that? It also saw groundbreakings on the two big apartments towers of The Vermont and the luxury apartments of K2 LA, plus work on rehabs/makeovers at both the Hotel Normandie and the Wilshire Hotel (soon to be The Line and packed with celebrity restaurateurs).

Poll results