Half the field has already been eliminated in the Curbed Cup, our annual award to the Philadelphia neighborhood of the year. This week we'll have one matchup per day—with the polls left open for 24 hours—and by Friday only four contenders will be left vying for the prestigious fake trophy. Let the eliminations continue!
Bella Vista beat Old City in Round 1 by about 20 percentage points. The neighborhood bounded by Sixth and 11th, South and Washington Ave., had a nice success this year when its Cianfrani Park received first prize in the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society 2012 City Gardens Contest. This summer the park also hosted several concerts that were decidedly hip: the Figgs' Pete Donnelly, and indie jazz players Get Up With It! Bella Vista United, the neighborhood civic, has a new community zoning board.
And then we have Society Hill, which trampled Roxborough in Round 1. While one disgruntled commenter noted that higher prices in a neighborhood don't necessarily mean it's a better place to live, another replied: "There are reasons that lead to higher prices....and those reasons are what make neighborhoods more meaningful/better." What are those reasons in Society Hill? The Society HIll Civic Association would have to be one of them. With 23 committees—and more than 60 block coordinators—there's always at least one person worrying about even the smallest cobblestone out of place. And the civic takes an active role in the broader planning for the city as a whole, reinforcing already close ties.