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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (1) River North vs. (8) Uptown

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This year, Curbed Cup, Curbed Chicago's annual Neighborhood of the Year tournament, is kicking off with eight (quarter)finalists, who will square off in a series of one-on-one matchups. Voting for each matchup will be open for 24 hours, or until the next matchup is posted. Let the voting begin!

Every tournament has its underdogs and favorites, and our first matchup pits tournament Goliath River North against North Side dark horse Uptown.

Uptown is one of Chicago's most fascinating 'hoods; the area oozes with history and it enjoys prime lakefront property, but it also has its share of problems, which Uptown residents are eager to point out. So why did Uptown make the cut? One of the commenters who nominated it, IrishPirate, noted that, "Helen Shiller, Elected Commissar of Uptown, is leaving office." That ought to have Uptown residents dancing in the streets. Then, there are the developments, big and small: Wilson Yard was completed this summer (although most people in Uptown probably view that as a negative); Clark Street got some new streetscaping; a new police station was built; and Sedgwick Properties announced plans to build a multi-high-rise development in Uptown.

In River North, there have been a bunch of notable developments in the past year: Flair Tower, EnV and Parc Huron were all completed, while construction began on the Ritz-Carlton Residences. But it isn't all about new high-rises. As an anonymous commenter noted, "Erie Park (now Montgomery Ward Park) is fabulous," and the downtown 'hood is home to one of the city's best dining and nightlife scenes.

UPDATE: Voting is now closed. Uptown, Curbed Cup 2010's new Cinderella, advances!

Poll results