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Curbed Cup Round 1: (4) Hayes Valley vs. (13) Excelsior

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The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the San Francisco neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 areas vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. This week we'll have two matchups per day, and all the results and the full tournament bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!

Everyone's favorite spot for a post-brunch stroll that isn't Valencia Street, Hayes Valley has seen enough action in the past year that even the public art has begun to resemble a building site from the neighborhood's construction boomlet. This year saw the opening of 8 Octavia and the first whisperings of SF's first cat café, KitTea. The success of Proxy has inspired copycats, and one could argue that Linden Street has the city's most idyllic Blue Bottle, where impatient linewaiters can always saunter into the corset store for an impromptu fitting. Of course, the privilege of living in the indie equivalent of an outdoor mall will cost you.

The Excelsior is a place where you can find both single-family homes under $1 million and also the fictional abode of a movie princess. Home to dives like Broken Record and Pissed Off Pete's, the neighborhood bordering McLaren Park has, like many of the city's southern districts, seriously begun to pick up the pace: 2014 saw the closure of Joe's Cable Car to make way for housing. Residents love the Excelsior for its diversity, as we heard from several readers. "It is a diverse and dynamic neighborhood that still manages to remain authentic in an era when the City is experiencing tremendous change," writes one tipster.

Poll results

· Perfect: Hayes Valley's Newest Sculpture Looks Like a Crane [Curbed SF]
· Mapping the Hayes Valley and Upper Market Building Boom [Curbed SF]
· First Look Inside Stanley Saitowitz's Long-Awaited 8 Octavia [Curbed SF]
· KitTea, SF's First Cat Café, Will Start Construction in January [Curbed SF]
· Avalon Hayes Valley Studios Will Start at $3,135, Seriously [Curbed SF]
· Open House Report: Under $1M Single-Family Home Edition [Curbed SF]
· Anne Hathaway's House from 'The Princess Diaries' Asks $2.6M [Curbed SF]
· Pissed Off Pete's Gets an Updated Kitchen and New Chefs [Eater SF]
· Housing Development Coming to Joe's Cable Car Site [Curbed SF]