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Curbed Cup 1st round: (5) Venice vs. (12) downtown Long Beach

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Two beach towns go head-to-head. Pick your favorite!

Venice Beach.

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. Let the eliminations commence!


​Much like the years before it, Venice's 2017 was full of rising real estate prices and tech backlash.

The median home price in the once gritty, now Silicon Beach-y neighborhood rose to nearly $2 million and Venice's most expensive house ever was sold for $14.6 million. Not surprisingly, rents here are among the highest in LA.

But the year was also marked by what seems to be a small victory for local activists in the neighborhood: Snapchat has said that its future growth will happen outside of Venice.

The move came after Venice community activists came together to protest Snapchat for what they claim is the company's increasing privatization of public space and the numerous displaced tenants they seem to leave in their wake. Snapchat's alleged sneaky tactics to score more parking around their offices didn't win them favor with locals, either.

Maybe their Snapchat win will convince them not to secede from Los Angeles?

Downtown Long Beach

The past few years have been busy for downtown Long Beach, where well over a dozen new developments are now in the works.

Among the highlights: an enormous entertainment complex planned beside the Queen Mary, a total overhaul of the city’s civic center, a pair of mixed use developments with nearly 1,000 units of housing for students between them, and an apartment tower set to be the largest building in town.

But Long Beach’s downtown already has plenty to offer beyond the expected amenities for convention center guests. There’s an eclectic mix of residential architecture, from modern to moderne; there’s a growing list of quality restaurants (most of which don’t serve recycled Popeye’s chicken tenders); there’s easy access to the beach; and the area is plenty walkable.

Now if only the Blue Line could arrive on time.