Neat/anachronistic post by way of Metafilter: Amazon Maps. Starting in selected cities (lived in by over half of Hard To Get's posters), you can click through the A9 Yellow Pages, find the store/coffeehouse/restaurant location near you, then see a picture of it on the block.
Weird, I thought they stopped these quixotic kinds of projects back in '99 or '00. Here's a view of the local bakery, Larsens. You can walk up or down the street from there and see the Thai cafe or the Bible College. They missed the nearby Tully's by half a block. Course I hear the espresso kiosk in the PetCo parking lot makes good coffee too, but with belly shirts.
On the other end of the spectrum, I've quite enjoyed watching the open source knowledge projects get off the ground like Wikipedia and MusicBrainz. I haven't quite figured out how I want to participate in those - yet. If the momentum keeps up, it's a return to the participatory communities that existed pre-modernism (i.e. virtually building barns).
Obligatory music link: ~Scape records (links to listen to Deadbeat's release on the page). With my (and now many American's) hip-hop background, I find nu-dub to be the most consistently funky and unobtrusive headspace to be in, despite its often non-organic nature. Yet, I can't find this music in any American record stores, beyond random smatterings in small stores like Seattle's Wall of Sound. Do we need more House music? ~Scape is the brainchild of German Stefan Betke, and tends towards the clickity end of the dub spectrum, but the schweet elements are still in there. If only I didn't have to pay import prices.