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Curbed Cup 1st round: (6) Belltown vs. (11) West Seattle

Which neighborhood should advance? Cast your vote now!

Courtesy of the Seattle Department of Transportation


It’s been a big year or two for Belltown. What was once a grungy scene for artists in the 1990s became a yuppie haven in the 2000s, but slowly, the tide is starting to turn again. Recent bar openings like Neon Boots, Screwdriver Bar, and Jupiter show that the neighborhood still has a lot of creativity and growth to share—and long-standing legacy businesses like Singles Going Steady, Shorty’s, and the Rendezvous remember the neighborhood’s past.

In the meantime, the city’s been building a ton of infrastructure in this downtown-adjacent neighborhood. The protected Second Avenue bike lane will soon stretch all the way to Denny. It’s even got a little woonerf in Bell Street Park.

On Twitter, readers pointed to the woonerf, plus great bars with lots of good dogs—an excellent feature for any neighborhood—a “genuinely diverse population,” transit accessibility (including, theoretically, a future streetcar line), and “a strong sense of neighborhood community.”

This neighborhood has everything—including beach access at nearby Myrtle Edwards Park—except maybe a full grocery store. (No offense intended to Dan’s Belltown Grocery.) No wonder it made it to the Final Four last year.

West Seattle

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Traditionally, it’s one of West Seattle’s sub-neighborhoods that competes, not the whole peninsula. But the sub-neighborhoods haven’t really gotten off the ground in recent years—neither the Junction, Delridge, nor Alki has ever made it past the Elite Eight on their own—but maybe by their powers combined they can make it to the finals.

West Seattle is like a city within a city, perhaps because getting there can feel like traveling to an island. But it means it’s built up infrastructure and culture all its own, from its unique, walkable downtown in the Junction to the beachy boardwalk at Alki. Each of its sub-neighborhoods has changed a lot in recent years, but they all still retain deep roots and community at the same time.

Not all of the neighborhoods have appeared in the Curbed Cup before, either. Resident Irene Stewart wrote in to nominate Fauntleroy specifically—a neighborhood with one of Seattle’s most comprehensive parks (Lincoln Park) and even a ferry dock. North Admiral hasn’t made a showing yet, either, despite having two of the area’s longest-standing institutions: the Admiral Theater and Yen Wor Village.

Because this is arguably more of a borough than a neighborhood, there are a whole lot of reasons to pick this one. But are any of its sub-neighborhoods a Belltown—especially when the viaduct is closed?

Which neighborhood should advance this week? This poll closes Thursday, December 14, at 1:15 p.m., so get those votes in. (Not seeing the poll? Try exiting Apple News or Google Amp.)