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Curbed Cup Round 1: Atwater Village (11) vs. Santa Monica (6)

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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!

Quiet little Atwater Village is like that duck looking all chill as he glides along the water (but not the LA River) with his legs churning wildly underneath--sure, it seems like just a good 'hood for Sunday brunch, but there's always some kind of action when you go looking for it. This was a very parks and parking year: the city created the Atwater Village Pedestrian Oriented District, which allows reduced parking along Glendale Boulevard, the North Atwater Park opening signaled the beginning of the LA River's big comeback, the park under the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge broke ground (technically Silver Lake, but we're calling it for Atwater), and even the bridge itself is getting an overhaul. Meanwhile, rents are getting up into the Silver Lake zone, actor Giovanni Ribisi moved in, and there were a handful of trendy restaurant openings.

Santa Monica, meanwhile, is like the hummingbird you never see land. The People's Republic suffered a few setbacks this year, but still had plenty of groundbreakings on projects public and private! major mixed-use development action! new hotels moving forward! And of course it had to be all pedestrian- and bike-friendly too. And then the city spent the rest of its time this year cracking down on partying.

Poll results