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Curbed Cup Elite Eight: Arts District (1) vs. Highland Park (9)

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Half the field is OUT in the 2013 Curbed Cup race for the Los Angeles Neighborhood of the Year. This week we'll have two matchups apiece on Monday and Thursday and by Friday only four contenders will be left vying for the prestigious golden jpeg. Voting for each poll ends 24 hours after opening (and will be watched closely for any shenanigans). Let the eliminations continue!

It's a year that started with a prediction that the Arts District would become LA's version of New York's Meatpacking District and ended with news that a park is on the way to Hewitt Street, and in between, the Urban Radish grocery store opened: The AD is without a doubt the neighborhood to beat this year (and it handily knocked out last-seed HiFi in round one). Work on the sinewy One Santa Fe--a signature project for the neighborhood--is well underway, the huge Megatoys project returned with very pedestrian-friendly plans, as did another huge mixed-user, Barker Block is getting ready to deliver its last phase of development with lofts and townhouses, and the city announced an "iconic" new Sixth Street Viaduct (that will also include plenty of public spaces for the AD). Signature AD celebrity Vincent Gallo opened the door for button-down types when he sold his fabulous penthouse unit at the Biscuit Lofts to a Fox executive, and there are even rumors of a Soho House. Meanwhile, Bestia was the hottest restaurant of the year, beloved Stumptown and Umami both opened, and the adorable boutiques have begun to move in. On the downside, the Business Improvement District--which was responsible for trash collection, security, and PR efforts--was shut down courtesy of a lawsuit.

Highland Park won a minor upset over Santa Monica in round one, but can it take on the AD? The big story in ever-fancifying the neighborhood this year was the insane housing prices: listing site Redfin named it the hottest up-and-coming neighborhood of 2013 way back in January and it lived up to the hype with climbing prices and nutso bidding wars galores. It also greened up a bit with a new parklet on York and planning for a regular-sized park right nearby. Then there are the two Starbuckses just a couple miles apart, and nothing says gentrification like fancy pastry restaurants.

Poll results