The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the Seattle neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 locales, hubs and 'hoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. This week we'll have two matchups per day, and all the results and the full tournament bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!
Image: Michael Allen Smith
Ballard always seems to perform well in the Cup, finishing in 2nd place in 2011 and 2013 while winning the whole thing in 2012. Last year they got upset in the first round as the No. 1 seed so let's see if they can come back from that. There's a good reason Ballardites usually come through for their neighborhood. This Northwest Seattle enclave might have become condo central but it's still got a lot of that old-world charm thanks to it's Scandanavian roots and a slew of great restaurants, coffee shops and bars. It's also the only neighborhood we've ever felt the need to map out by brewery. Developers keep building here to try to keep up with all the demand but they can't.
Image: Joe Mabel
Sure, you could subdivide it into North Beacon Hill, Mid-Beacon Hill, NewHolly, and South Beacon Hill, but let's just call it Beacon Hill for the sake of posterity. This stretch of South Seattle has become a hotspot in recent years for those looking to take advantage of cheaper real estate on the rise and new eco-friendly developments that keep sprouting up. The view of downtown Seattle from here certainly doesn't hurt either. The diversity of the neighborhood is one of the reasons the American Planning Association thinks it's one of the 20-best neighborhoods in America. It's also at the forefront of a lot of what Seattle sees for itself in the years to come, including safe cycling routes, being family-friendly, strong restaurant cores and projects like Food Forest, an urban farming west of Jefferson Park. That's not to say it doesn't have a colorful past, too.