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!
For another year, Broadway has dominated the Historic Core scene. In January, the Ace Hotel and its adjacent theater opened near Ninth and shifted the entire center of gravity in Downtown (the block was primed with fancy new retail at the Eastern Columbia Building and fancy new restaurants like Umamicatessen and Alma). Broadway also got a big pedestrian-friendly overhaul and new owners/plans for many of its neglected historic buildings. But there was plenty of action in the rest of the Core too: two tall towers, plans for an art museum, a makeover at the old Rosslyn Hotel, and a new life for the Regent Theater.
As the LA River's profile rises, so does the profile of Frogtown, aka Elysian Valley (it runs between the river and the 5, just south of Atwater Village, in case you don't know). Chic/expensive furniture outfit Modernica moved out of the Arts District this year and into an old Hostess bakery in Frogtown, bringing delivery grocers Good Eggs with it. Other wins are mostly river-related: a cool orange bridge running to Cypress Park, a riverside park, and an LA River visitor center and cafe. Meanwhile, the artists who first began gentrifying the neighborhood a few years ago (and created its excellent art walk) are fretting over whatever colonization is coming next.