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Curbed Cup 2012 Neighborhood of the Year: Passyunk Square!

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All the votes are in, counted and a winner has been chosen: Passyunk Square—the area between 6th and Broad and Washington and Tasker—wins the prestigious fake trophy for Neighborhood of the Year 2012! It beat its neighbor East Passyunk Crossing by roughly 20 percentage points, ending with about 60 percent of the votes.

Here's how one commenter rationalized the decision:

If you [go] through the entire neighborhood, not just the Ave, Passyunk Square has a lot more going on. There's the lower Italian Market, the Vietnamese markets on 6th and 11th streets, a string of other businesses on 11th, Columbus and Gold Star parks and Capitolo rec center, the Rachel Ray garden, Pats and Genos, two great public schools as well as a charter, the Acme, the police station, a liquor store, a post office. It's a complete package! Another pointed to East Passyunk Crossing's relative youth as a distinct neighborhood:

Passyunk square is the supportive structure without which, east Passyunk never could have grown. P.Sq. was raising money for street cleaning while EPX was in short pants. Perhaps p.sq's confines have less glitter, but they have drive and momentum, and the support and energy of their residents. And then there's this:
Passyunk Square has Chickie's veggie hoagie. Case closed! The nominations this year came strictly from the readers, resulting in separate bids for an area that some (including this blog) simply call East Passyunk. There was some initial dismay over the separation between the two zip codes, but the perception that the two Passyunks are part of the same 'hood is certainly not fully integrated into every Philadelphian's understanding of neighborhood boundaries.

Two groups that are decidedly unified? The two civic associations for the area. The East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association and the Passyunk Square Civic Association have a friendly motto: "two civics, one East Passyunk." Relations are warm (though perhaps not all the commenters here know that).

For this contest, the two civics decided to venture a friendly wager. Now that Passyunk Square has won the battle, the members of East Passyunk Crossing Civic will be forced to brave the 19147/19148 borderline between the 'hoods and bring food a general meeting of the Passyunk Square Civic. We hope they'll remember to wear layers to make the trek; the weather can change drastically from one zone to the other.

Finally, we'd like to get solemn for a moment (cue Oscars telecast orchestral music). This unpredictable win for a little neighborhood in South Philadelphia says a lot about this town. Oh, sure, you could say it's only about the people who read this website or the number of folks who get their friends to vote—you can get all cynical about it if you want to.

But this ending is pure Philly: a small-town-in-a-big-city result that shows we are an intimate, unpretentious "city of neighborhoods." And this year's neighborhood? Passyunk Square!
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