It's that time of year again, when thoughts turn to holiday cheer, New Year's resolutions, and, of course, The Curbed Cup, an annual deathmatch to see which Philly neighborhood will triumph above all others. This year, the eight neighborhoods are competing for the totally fake trophy and the pride of being Curbed Philly's 2013 Neighborhood of the year. We need your votes! Polls, located at the bottom of each Curbed Cup post, will close 24 hours after the post goes up, and the winner will move on to the next round.
In one corner is Cedar Park. Though it's a micro-neighborhood, it has experienced rapid growth in the past year: Little Baby's opened up its second location at the corner of 49th and Baltimore (and put in a parklet to go with it.) There's a ton of activity inching along Baltimore Avenue: a mixed use apartment building is rising fast at 4812 Baltimore, and Greensgrow farms is considering a second location at a vacant lot at 50th and Baltimore for a second urban farm/garden supply store. Cedar Park was even featured by the Philadelphia Neighborhoods campaign as a great place for tourists to visit this year. A resident wrote in to say that she appreciates Cedar Park and nearby neighborhoods because "West Philly is a self sustaining interesting and diverse community and it's always improving".
In the other corner is Olde Kensington (also known as South Kensington). Olde Kensington has seen a flurry of construction, and will see even more in 2014. During 2013, though, work started on the SoKo lofts and Liberty Square (a piazza-esque proposal) is in the works. Tension between longtime residents and developers pursuing large upscale development is certainly evident, but it looks like development is taking off, even alongside the El. And though the industrial focus of the area is waning, a new metal fabricating facility is coming to American Street soon. Olde (or South) Kensington has experienced tons of growth in 2013, and seems as though it'll grow more in the coming year.