City Island won an online contest as the best neighborhood in New York City, but make of it what you will!
The island community was recently named as 2014 Best Neighborhood of the Year as winner of the Curbed Cup on ny.curbed.com, a real-estate news site that is part of Curbed.com, after a surge of online voting propelled it past Long Island City, the semi-finalist, by a tally of 1135 to 989.
The seaside nabe was just one of two Bronx communities, the second being Mott Haven, that ny.curbed.com placed in competition against one another in a March Madness-style vote that was eventually narrowed down being the east Bronx enclave and the red-hot Queens community. Mott Haven was eliminated in the first round.
The contest was not meant to be taken too seriously, but was described by ny.curbed.com co-editor Jessica Dailey as a way of looking back on the stories that made news on the website in 2014. Several developments on the island were written up in 2014 by the news site, including a condo development and the City Island Bridge design.
“People get really excited about voting on neighborhoods and comparing neighborhoods, and it is just part of our end-of-the-year look-back content,” she said.
She added that the awards are not literal, tangible awards, and that no actual honors are bestowed.
It was also clear, she said, that there was a campaign going on to push the island nabe up in the rankings.
Local activist, John Doyle, City Island Civic Association corresponding secretary, said that he hope the enthusiasm that some islanders showed in participating in the for-fun poll would translate into some community engagement.
“It’s nice to see that Bronxites and City Islanders came together to vote in an Internet poll,” said Doyle. “I would ask that this activism continue past their mouse-pads and into the next meeting of the Civic Association. Our community has its challenges like any other, and I hope they can direct their collective talents to this endeavor.”
The business community liked the publicity, said City Island Chamber of Commerce vice-president Paul Klein. It saw the neighborhood get featured on a major metropolitan television news program.
“Any publicity we can get is good publicity, and certainly something as advantageous as being voted the best neighborhood in New York City,” he said.
The vote, while appeared to be just for promotional purposes of the news site, could possibly improve the real estate market and bring more tourists, said Barbara Dolensek, CICA second vice-president.
Dolensek said that she was interested in the remarks people left while voting on the ny.curbed.com site while voting, with one interesting remark noting to the effect that Long Island City has received huge influxes of private money for construction, while the City Island community remains largely unchanged except for a few projects.
She also said that there was a comment on the site, which the Bronx Times also located, about how proud the City Island community was to be a part of the Bronx.