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Curbed Cup Final Four: (13) Excelsior vs. (16) Inner Sunset

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We're down to the final four in the Curbed Cup, our annual award to the San Francisco neighborhood of the year. This week we'll have one matchup per day on Monday and Tuesday—with the polls left open for 24 hours—and by Wednesday only two contenders will be left vying for the prestigious fake trophy. Let the eliminations continue!

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, for instance. 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!

The Inner Sunset certainly has its share of fog, but it also boasts some pretty awesome parks, from the very obvious (Golden Gate, you know who you are) to Grandview and the stunning overlook at Rocky Outcrop Park. Readers wrote in praise of Park Chow, Le Video, and Arizmendi's, with shoutouts to Inner Sunset Sundays, the farmer's market, countless block parties, and, of course, Irving Street—which has a spate of streetscape improvements on the way. With a new proposal to revamp and densify Kirkham Heights while adding much-needed pedestrian connections into the Mount Sutro trail network, the neighborhood is poised to step into the spotlight—even if you can only ever see 10 feet in front of your face.


Poll results

· 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]
· The Inner Sunset's Grandview Park Lives Up to Its Name [Curbed SF]
· Enjoy the View from Rocky Outcrop Park in Golden Gate Heights [Curbed SF]
· Summary of Irving Street Streetscape Changes [Our Inner Sunset]
· Kirkham Heights Reboot Would Bring 460 Units to the Sunset [Curbed SF]