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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (2) Mid-Market vs. (15) Portola

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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!

Like neighboring SoMa, Mid-Market is changing by the day. Big names are putting their stamp on the neighborhood, from BIG—oh, Bjarke, where art thou?—to Snøhetta, which recently supplanted Richard Meier as the architect of One Van Ness. Twitter, which has been entertaining the idea of putting in a skybridge, is here to stay, the Mid-Market tax district having been declared a success over the objections of onlookers weary of the motives of any business suffixed with a cutesy "-er" or "-ly." This April will bring a weekend of urban prototyping to Market Street, and it looks like we'll get a 2.1-mile-long LED sculpture, too. Neighborhood rents are still more reasonable than surrounding areas, though people are shoveling out thousands and thousands of dollars to live at NEMA. Meanwhile, Flax art & design's impending move-out looms, and neighborhood foodies rejoiced at the opening of the Hall, the pop-up food hall at the old Hollywood Billiards.

Last year, Portola took the Curbed Cup in a surprise upset, defeating the Inner Sunset by 91 votes. In the intervening year, the neighborhood has enjoyed a quiet reign, and has continued to remain a more affordable option in this bonkers market of ours. Will Portola rise to rule the day again, or will it retreat back into obscurity as "the best neighborhood you've never heard of"?

Poll results

· Mapping 40 Major Changes Reshaping the Mid-Market Corridor [Curbed SF]
· All New Renderings of BIG's Design for 950-974 Market [Curbed SF]
· At One Van Ness, Richard Meier Is Out and Snøhetta Is In [Curbed SF]
· Twitter's Proposed Skybridge Isn't Any More Isolationist Than the One That Used to Be There [Curbed SF]
· SF Hails 'Twitter Tax Break' As Rousing Success [SFGate]
· A Sneak Peek at the Urban Interventions Popping Up on Market Street in 2015 [Curbed SF]
· Ambitious 2.1-Mile LED Sculpture Clears Board of Supervisors [Curbed SF]
· Mapping the Median Rent of a One-Bedroom in San Francisco [Curbed SF]
· Those $8,950/Month 3-Bed Rentals Are Still Available at NEMA [Curbed SF]
· Condo Plans Move Forward for Flax Art & Design Site [Curbed SF]
· Mid-Market's Hollywood Billiards Pops Up As a Food Hall [Curbed SF]
· The Curbed Cup Neighborhood of the Year: Portola! [Curbed SF]
· SF Is the Least Affordable Housing Market for the Middle Class [Curbed SF]