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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (1) Marigny vs. (8) Bayou St. John

The Curbed Cup 2013, our award to the New Orleans Neighborhood of the Year, is kicking off with eight 'hoods battling it out for the honor of a prestigious fake trophy and obviously, bragging rights. Voting for each match-up ends 24 hours after it begins. We'll showcase a neighborhood face-off per day through the week with results and the full tourney bracket reviewed on Friday. Let the eliminations begin!

The Marigny earned the top seed in New Orleans' first Curbed Cup competition, receiving accolades for its charming, close-knit, colorful (the people and the houses) neighborhood feel while being close to all of the downtown action. One reader got a Marigny vote in right away: "Cool bars, pretty homes, historical, the best looking neighbors, close to the Quarter but without all of the tourists!!" The Marigny market is hot on the housing scene and people are willing to pay the price to live here — this 1840s storefront-turned-2,000-square foot home just sold for $590,000, and this Burgundy Street classic-meets-modern revamp, currently listed for $470,000, are just a couple of examples. It's one of the most walkable neighborhoods around town, made the list for Best Neighborhoods for Renters in New Orleans, and sure, it's trendy. Because all good 'hoods are packed with Neighborhood Beef, the Marigny made headlines this year with the NIMBY folks around Mimi's in the Marigny and zoning crackdowns on Frenchmen Street, painting a pretty accurate picture of just how much the neighborhood is changing. In better news, beloved local music shop, the Louisiana Music Factory, is moving to Frenchmen Street and look out, the Crescent Park might open someday.

The challenger, Bayou St. John in Mid-City, is also known for its close-knit, neighborhood feel and excellent choices in affordable housing stock. Like the Marigny, it also made the list for one of the Ten Best Neighborhoods for Renters in New Orleans. One Curbed NOLA reader, who used to live Uptown, wrote: "The neighbors are amazing. They actually take the time to say hi and they look out for each other, whereas living Uptown our neighbors hardly took the time to give a quick wave. We love taking strolls with our puppy along the bayou. It's so peaceful and relaxing to watch the lights glimmer in the reflective water." Its proximity to City Park, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Fairgrounds, and of course, the bayou earns this neighborhood points with its residents. Other Bayou St. John perks: canoe and kayak rentals, Bayou Boogaloo, the Fourth of July boat parade, Greek Fest, and one reader made sure to point out, "President Obama and Beyonce even love Bayou St. John," in reference to their (separate) po'boy orders from Parkway Bakery.
Which neighborhood deserves to advance?

Poll results

· Mimi's In The Marigny gets live music permit; lawsuit goes on [Curbed NOLA]
· Oft-ignored zoning rules causes Frenchmen St. crackdown [Curbed NOLA]
· Checking in with three Marigny homes [Curbed NOLA]
· Gorgeous Marigny double with a modern edge asks $470K [Curbed NOLA]
· Are these the trendiest New Orleans neighborhoods? [Curbed NOLA]
· Louisiana Music Factory will have new home on Frenchmen St. [Curbed NOLA]
· The 10 best neighborhoods for renters in New Orleans [Curbed NOLA]
· Ranking New Orleans' most walkable neighborhoods [Curbed NOLA]
· Crescent Park coverage [Curbed NOLA]
· Beyonce orders 150 po'boys from Parkway [NOLA Defender]
· Parkway Bakery plays host to President Obama and family []