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Curbed Cup Round 1: Arts District (3) vs. Skid Row (14)

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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!

What didn't happen in the Arts District this year? A plan for Metro rail stops, a Vincent-Gallo-fueled turf war, the opening of the only new for-sale units in Downtown, a wellness megaplex, a arcade bar, a dog park crisis and happy resolution, the announcement of a huge arts complex and an open-air mall, adaptive reuse, new development, the opening of the gamechangingly enormous One Santa Fe mixed-user (with bonus starchitecture!), new zoning rules that could drive even more action in the neighborhood, groundbreaking on its first park, and, finally, complaints from the gentrifiers that the neighborhood is being over-gentrified. Never change, AD (by which we mean keep changing and changing).

The Arts District's neighbor, Skid Row, isn't quite the success story, but it's got more ambition than just about any other neighborhood in LA. Like the AD, Skid Row saw a Michael Maltzan building open this year (supportive housing called the Star Apartments), plus a greening program that employs locals, a new mural that is on its way to becoming an icon of the neighborhood, a movement to make aesthetic improvements, and a new commitment from the city for cleaning and bathroom services. Now the open question on SR is whether it can improve on its own terms before Downtown gentrification swallows it whole.

Poll results