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Curbed Cup Round 1: Financial District (8) vs. Boyle Heights (9)

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Here it is: the 2014 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 work began on un-fucking the Financial District. The Macy's Fortress is becoming an open-air shopping center, the old Wilshire Grand is becoming the tallest building in the West (with an InterContinental hotel inside), and eternally awful Pershing Square is becoming somewhat less awful. The US Bank Tower, the tallest building in the West for now, is finally getting a viewing deck and restaurant on its top floors, recession poster child Park Fifth has returned from the dead, and the Regional Connector rail line through the 'hood is now under construction.

It was only a matter of time before the madness in Downtown spilled over into Boyle Heights, but there was also bound to be some splash-back. Makeover plans came out in the spring for the huge and historic Sears Tower—it'll become a mixed-use complex with only market-rate apartments (no low-income units that might accommodate people who are already live in the area). That was followed by news of the neighborhood's first Starbucks just across the street, and then the very next month a real estate firm announced a bike tour with a flyer selling BH as the next Downtown; residents flipped and the event was canceled. Metro, meanwhile, is planning all kinds of development around the Gold Line, USC is planning a new hotel on its medical campus, and the city's working on a fancy new LA River bridge.

Poll results