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!
Described as "the community of the future" by its treasured Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar, Bridgeport is a neighborhood that boasts a strong civic pride. For decades, the neighborhood was known as being the base of the Cook County political machine, but things have changed since the Daley family had a tight grip on Chicago. The area boasts a large creative community and a number of locally produced zines. As rents in other hip neighborhoods like Logan Square and Ukrainian Village skyrocket, some younger Chicagoans are eyeing the city's South Side, specifically neighborhoods like Pilsen and Bridgeport. Bridgeport is a favorite for this year's Curbed Cup, as the neighborhood came in second place in last year's challenge.
Avondale sits just north of Logan Square and is benefitting from the rapid changes and rising rents that its hip neighbor is witnessing. Many say that Avondale is just next in line in following the paths that Wicker Park and Logan Square followed, and the numbers would suggest that the neighborhood is indeed beginning to transform. Rent prices have risen in Avondale at a facer pace than in most other Chicago neighborhoods, and its single family home market is becoming increasingly more competitive. While it's an older industrial area, it's also very colorful. The neighborhood sports numerous brightly colored murals and is also the home of Northeastern Illinois University's new El Centro campus building designed by Juan Gabriel Moreno. The neighborhood also boasts some popular new restaurants, including the Michelin star-winning Parachute.