The Curbed Cup, our annual award to the Philadelphia neighborhood of the year, kicks off with 16 'hoods vying for the prestigious fake trophy. This week we'll have two matchups per day, and all the results and the full tourney bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Polls for each pairing stay open for 24 hours. Let the eliminations commence!
Our second matchup of the day starts with Graduate Hospital, also known as South of South, Southwest Center City or GradHo. Despite the confusion over names—including a restaurant that went with the unfortunate moniker SoWe—the neighborhood is bounded by South Street and Broad, Washington Avenue and the Schuylkill River. Represented by the South of South Neighborhood Association, Graduate Hospital has become a highly desirable area known for brand spanking new construction that commands high prices both for rent and for sale. It's a walkable, relatively safe and clean neighborhood that has extended a perception of Center City to go beyond Lombard Street as far as Christian Street. The Toll Bros. have made a significant investment in the neighborhood, and continue to do so.
And here we have Fishtown, which we referenced in our blurb about Kensington. The traditionally white, working-class riverfront neighborhood was not uniformly overjoyed to see new residents when young artist types started to move in and snap up inexpensive housing. Fishtown escapees were in shock that anyone would move there deliberately, but shock gave way to envy as coffee shops, restaurants and cute shops sprouted. For a while, if you were young and hip and artsy, Fishtown was the place to be—even during years when the 'hood was being called out for its racism on Politico. Now it's so gentrified, it's almost passé to think it's cool. And Fishtown ended up with SugarHouse Casino, despite a fierce battle helmed by Casino-Free Philadelphia.