Congratulations to Glendale, the winner of the 2013 Curbed Cup for LA's Neighborhood of the Year, and the accompanying, highly-prestigious golden jpeg. With a little professional public relations help, paid for by Americana at Brand-owner Caruso Affiliated, the city destroyed its first-seeded opponent—the Arts District—in the final voting (along with every other opponent it met in the CC). Even with an asterisk attached to its title, we all must admit the city was a development hot zone this year, with several-hundred new apartments opening and thousands more on the way. Plus a bunch of mall renovations. It also runs along a natural-bottomed portion of the LA River, which had the best year ever.
And for the first time ever this year, we also rounded up Curbed LA editors' picks for their 2013 Neighborhoods of the Year:
Bianca Barragan: The Financial District is making Downtown seem like a neighborhood, largely in part because it brought that Target complex into the mix. I was excited to see it sort of set the tone for Downtown in 2013 as a more livable, walkable, enjoyable space.
Neal Broverman: It's a tiny little enclave, but Little Osaka—sometimes simply called Sawtelle—is lately packing a lot into its dozen or so blocks. Crammed with new restaurants like Plan Check and Tsujita Annex, the neighborhood is an eater's paradise, with a growing roster of sidewalk dining. Centered around narrow Sawtelle, the sidewalks of Little Osaka are increasingly thronged, thanks to nurseries, apartment buildings, office buildings, and Japanese curio shops. It's also a half-mile from the forthcoming Sepulveda station on the Expo Line, which should introduce more people to its pleasures.
Adrian Glick Kudler: It's always a good year for being bullish on Hollywood: We tend to see the bad (the swarming tourists, the club douches), but the neighborhood is central, transit-accessible, urban, historic, and iconic (and not insanely unaffordable). In 2013, people finally started to pay attention to the long-neglected southern Vine Street zone; in the heart of things, Emerson College's just-about-finished Morphosis building is going to be one of LA's new architectural high points. (And for 2014: I'm rooting for Boyle Heights.)
Pauline O'Connor: I've become more of a fan of Glendale over the past year. Not so much the conspicuous-consumption, Americana-fication of it—the bucolic, Meatball the Bear-type aspects of it. Plus it's got a pretty decent stock of architecturally significant homes (e.g., Lautner's Schaffer House; Lloyd Wright's Derby House) that would be way more expensive if they were located farther west.
Josh Williams: The La Brea Corridor, which runs through several neighborhoods and the city of West Hollywood, is going through a rapid transformation from Hollywood to Wilshire with new mixed-use buildings, rehabs, an OSH Hardware, the new most-hated building in LA, and streetscape improvements.
· Curbed Cup 2013 [Curbed LA]