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Curbed Cup 1st round: (5) NoPa vs. (12) Castro

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Which neighborhood should advance? Cast your vote now!

NoPa.
Photo by Brandon Doran

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, kicks off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (albeit fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which hoods should advance. Let the eliminations begin!


NoPa

Rechristened NoPa in the early aughts in order to appease and—let’s face it—attract well-to-do residents, the North of the Panhandle neighborhood is bounded by Divisadero, Fell, Turk, and Stanyan. It’s a sub-neighborhood of Western Addition, one that’s seen a spike on popularity over the last decade.

The neighborhood is known for its sundry of assorted furniture stores and eateries along Divisadero, most notably for the titular restaurant Nopa. The strip saw new spots like Che Fico grace their neighborhood, which opened inside an old automotive garage.

Rental and home prices continued to skyrocket in the area. This tiny studio inside a circa 1905 mansion made waves when it hit the market in September, asking a cool #375,000. It sold over asking for a whopping $468,000, proving that, while not much happened in this small slice of San Francisco in 2017, it’s still one of the Bay Area’s hottest and more sought-after neighborhoods.


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Castro.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Castro

Along with the Haight and Chinatown, few neighborhoods signify San Francisco to outsiders the way the Castro does. Most notable, it’s one of world’s few remaining safe spaces for LGBTQ people. New additions to the Rainbow Honor Walk keep the hood in line with its theme.

But even before it adopted the queer identity, it was a still gorgeous slice of the city, highlighted by Victorians galore and the Timothy Pflueger-designed Castro Theatre.

Rent and home prices are still absurd in the neighborhood, making it increasingly difficult for young people to call this safe mecca home. However, a bumper crop of new residential buildings (far too short to make any real change) have provided a pinprick of relief.

This year, former District Eight Supervisor Scott Wiener left office after winning the state senate vote, with Jeff Sheehy entering his seat as a mayoral appointee. In 2018, Sheehy goes head to head with Rafael Mandelman in a November vote.

But now, the decision is in your hands: Which area should advance? Cast your vote below, and may the best neighborhood win.