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Curbed Cup Elite 8: (4) The Mission vs. (5) Lower Haight

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Half the field has already been eliminated in the Curbed Cup, our annual 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!

[Photos: the ol' west via Jason Rosete/Haight Shopping via Scott Cox]

The Mission secured its advancement in the Curbed Cup by beating Polk Gulch with 61.5% of the vote. The neighborhood saw plenty of drama in 2011: Kink.com's armory is being threatened with a condos being built right next door and they're pissed about it; San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum allegedly trashed his rental on Hampshire Street; Stanley Saitowitz's condo development got approved; and the gigantic church across from Dolores Park (aka Castle on the Park) was sold to a children's school down the street. Oh, and then there's Dolores Park undergoing a significant renovation, complete with bike polo court and community input.

The Lower Haight completely destroyed Civic Center in the Curbed Cup first round by securing 87.6% of the vote. The neighborhood still boasts late-night eateries, some of the city's best bars, quirky public art, and a great location that's hard to beat when it comes to lovers of parks, Muni, or bicycles. The year has been rough: an amazing public mural was vandalized beyond recognition and a fire hit the center of the neighborhood at Haight and Fillmore. True to form, Lower Haighters have met these setbacks with a neighborhood spirit: getting together to clean up the mural and hosting fundraiser after fundraiser for victims of the fire. A classy bunch like that surely deserves your love.

Poll results