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Curbed Cup Round 1: University Park (10) vs. Arts District (7)

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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!

Pretty much if you got a new Expo Line stop this year, you were doing all right--University Park got one, in addition to a new plan to guide development that's probably going to bring some crazy action to University Park in the coming years. Already the city has approved The Village at USC retail/dorm/green space/etc. project (yes, the neighborhood is pretty nervous about gentrification). There was action right on campus too, with ground breaking on an elaborate new building for the Annenberg school and a fancy new frathouse. Also the Felix the Cat sign got a makeover, which is good or bad depending on how you feel about neon preservation.

This year, the Arts District's most high-profile resident, Vincent Gallo, both went to war with the local Business Improvement District (which is tasked with keeping the neighborhood safe and looking nice) and sold his penthouse in the Biscuit Lofts (the one he once rented to Nicolas Cage). Meanwhile, our girlfriend Diane Keaton bought a unit to rent out at 940 East 2nd, ground broke at the sinewy and hotly-anticipated One Santa Fe along the river, some old apartments got some new life, it was announced the old California Walnut Growers Association building will get some new condos, and there's a grocery store on the way. The neighborhood is also becoming more and more of a restaurant hot zone.

Poll results