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Curbed Cup Elite Eight: (5) Bayview vs. (13) Excelsior

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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 two matchups apiece on Monday and Tuesday—with the polls left open for 24 hours—and by Wednesday only four contenders will be left vying for the prestigious fake trophy. Let the eliminations continue!

In response to the sometimes-invoked notion that Bayview is the new Bernal Heights, one tipster maintained, "Actually, there is nothing like the Bayview." The neighborhood, once cut off by Muni maps, is definitely on the rise. There's activity all around, from the big developments going in nearby at the San Francisco Shipyard and Candlestick Point to the new park at 900 Innes that will complete the Blue Greenway walking and bike path around the water. Tipsters wrote in to laud local standbys like Trouble Coffee, Radio Africa Kitchen, and the bird sanctuary at Heron's Head Park. And lots more want to get in on the action in a part of SF that still feels like a small town: Home prices are up 75 percent in the neighborhood since 2011—the highest level of home price appreciation in the city. It's a place where you can still find card-carrying members of our Under $500K Club, but where you'll also run into bidding wars.

Like the Bayview, the Excelsior is a place where you can find single-family homes under $1 million, but only the Excelsior lays claim to 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. "Excelsior is meant to be an exclamation," rhapsodizes another, explaining that "excelsior" is Latin for "upward." "You can't softly say "upward!" so why would you not shout "Excelsior!" From the top of McLaren Park to the valley of Cayuga Ave"? asks our reader, Colleen C., who quotes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Excelsior" at the close of her note:

In happy homes he saw the light

Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan, Excelsior!


Poll results

· Previous Coverage of the San Francisco Shipyard [Curbed SF]
· Previous Coverage of Candlestick Point [Curbed SF]
· Bayview Booming: SF Home Appreciation by Neighborhood [Curbed SF]
· Want a Decent Deal in San Francisco? Head for the Bayview [Curbed SF]
· This House in Bayview Just Sold for $316K Over Asking [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]
· Curbed Cup First Round Results! The Inner Sunset Dominates [Curbed SF]