The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, moves forward with the Final Four 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!
Dogpatch has proved a versatile competitor this year, first besting Nob Hill (the onetime king of highfalutin SF living, even if competing neighborhoods have since surpassed it in terms of sheer wealth and luxury) and then the Tenderloin (the one corner of San Francisco that seems to resist change more effectively than any other).
Whereas nearby Mission Bay is a neighborhood with a future, Dogpatch is an neighborhood for the here and now, “the next Mission, for better or for worse,” as we called it back in the first round.
Indeed, the artisan foods and repurposed industrial spaces on the waterfront are already firmly rooted and well-situated, and as the southern and eastern corners of the city see even more growth and attention in decades to come Dogpatch’s fortunes are primed to take off, making this a very lucky dog indeed.
But in this round, Dogpatch’s competition comes in the form of an old standby that’s had a quiet rise to the top this year.
Some neighborhoods eventually come into their own, while others are so elemental to a city’s sense of place that it seems like they’ve always been around and maybe were here even before the city itself.
The Sunset isn’t eternal, of course, starting off as Carville in the late 19th century. But its seaside locale and sometimes sleepy reputation makes it seem almost like a kind of Bay Area Brigadoon, half-glimpsed by the rest of us in the fading sunlight and sea spray.
But of course those who have lived in the Sunset all along know that was never true and that a lovely, lively, and above all deceptively affordable and attainable community existed here all along, part and parcel of the larger city.
That’s why the Outer Sunset upset both the perpetually hip Lower Haight and the similarly burgeoning Inner Richmond in the previous rounds, only now to come head to head with Dogpatch in an eastern neighborhoods vs western neighborhoods showdown.
The Sunset has stood by the rest of San Francisco—figuratively and geographically—for over a hundred years, and it’s high time it got the recognition it deserves. On the other hand, Dogpatch is primed for a renaissance in the 21st century, with nowhere to go but up.
Both are worthy contenders, but only one can advance. Cast your votes now.