The Curbed Cup, our annual award to the Chicago neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious victory. For this week, we'll introduce two matchups per day, and on Friday, the results from the tournament bracket will be revealed. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!
Lincoln Square isn't known for being the rowdiest place in the world, but during its annual Oktoberfest event, the streets become flooded with folks enjoying a beer, sausage and some live music. Similar to Andersonville, Lincoln Square has some deep European ethnic roots and the neighborhood is home to the DANK-Haus German American Cultural Center as well as a slew of other German businesses and organizations. Beyond its German ties, Lincoln Square is largely residential neighborhood but it does feature a quaint pedestrian strip known for its shops, restaurants and bars. And for the residents who want to learn how to play an instrument or improve on their skills can walk down the street to the famous Old Town School of Folk Music on Lincoln Avenue.
Pilsen is easily one of the city's most diverse neighborhoods, but similar to ethnic neighborhoods on the North Side, Pilsen has been the center of a gentrification battle over the last several years. And despite how fast areas like Logan Square and Humboldt Park have changed within the same amount of time, Pilsen residents seem to continue holding on. The area is known for its vibrant murals and art spaces. Recently its old Thalia Hall opera house received an extreme makeover and is now the home to a music venue, a restaurant and bar.