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Curbed Cup Elite 8: (1) The Mission vs. (8) Panhandle

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Half the field has already been eliminated in the Curbed Cup, our award to the San Francisco 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!

After stomping out Dogpatch in the first round, the Mission's march to Curbed Cup glory continues. The Mission heads in as the people's choice because it received the most reader nods (via comments and e-mail) and frankly, we write about it more than any other neighborhood. The New York Times loves it and the Wall Street Journal is still trying to figure it out. There are new parks being planned. Valencia Street got a makeover. New restaurants keep opening up and older ones continue to thrive. It's even possible that the oldest house in San Francisco might just be in the Mission. And, of course, Banksy left his mark there. But no neighborhood is perfect. Some readers think it's reached its peak. But as one Curbed reader put it, "the Mission sports a sunny disposition, sparkling wit, and raging sex appeal. The Mission has it all."

The Panhandle didn't receive a lot of buzz in 2010, but that didn't stop it from dispatching rival the Sunset. Being much more compact, the Panhandle offers plenty of opportunities to interact with the neighbors, and a smattering of hotspots like NOPA, Chile Pies, Mojo Bicycle Cafe have gotten their own nods from the Gray Lady. There's also a nice selection of transit lines around the easily-bikeable, centrally-located Panhandle. But is that enough to eliminate our top contender from the competition? Every vote counts, so cast yours now.
Poll results

· All Curbed Cup 2010 coverage [Curbed SF]
[Panhandle photo via; the Mission photo via.]