Southern life might be like a box of chocolates, but New York life is more like a schoolyard -- petty, cutthroat, and ruled by attitude. At least you can practice your moves and vent aggression at www.sissyfight.com. In the candy-colored world of SiSSYFiGHT 2000, created by the staff of Word.com and game designer Eric Zimmerman, you're a playground girl who must humiliate her enemies by taunting, clawing -- even tattling on them. The catch: You can't prevail unless you win the other kids to your side. Looking to give scheming cult appeal, Word.com editor-in-chief Marisa Bowe says she asked herself, "What kind of scenario would attract cool, hip urban folk and get them really into fighting?"
Global West Village
Once Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery set up shop at Yonahschimmel.com, it was only a matter of time before other beloved New York institutions followed suit. The most recent arrival on the Net is the West Village's 162-year-old C.O. Bigelow, which has made its high-end beauty products available on Eve.com (some are also sold at Sephora.com). Offerings include imported toothpaste (from $6.95), shaving brushes ($79), Neal's Yard shampoo (from $16), and signature soaps ($18 for a box of three).New Directions
Remember flipping through the Yellow Pages in search of an elusive address locator? That phone-book feature has been rendered obsolete by online map generators, which provide precision guides, Zip Codes, and exact driving directions to even the most out-of-the-way shack. If you're interested in geography, the Web is nothing short of paradise. And if you're interested in Paradise, directions to all 25 U.S. cities with that name are available at mapquest.com.
The mother of all map sites, National Geographic Map Machine offers maps based on political boundaries, physical characteristics, climate, even housing statistics. They're so subdivided you can generate information on, say, the projected threat to Australia's eco-regions in 2020. And if you just want to settle an argument, one click lets you e-mail your map to a friend (plasma.nationalgeographic.com/mapmachine/).
In the old days of the Internet, university libraries were among the most valuable resources. Even now, one of the Web's most impressive archives is the University of Texas's Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, which offers virtual versions of modern and historical maps, including several focusing on America's westward expansion (www.lib.utexas.edu/Libs/PCL/Map_collection/Map_collection.html).
If you're looking to walk instead of drive, Green Apple Maps specializes in "urban ecology adventures" -- parks, wetlands, and community gardens in and around the city. If you're looking for what to walk away from, it also highlights landfills and other toxic areas (www.greenmaps.org/nyc/home/home.html).
Ready for something really different? PDS Mars Explorer for the Armchair Astronaut generates Mars images based on data from nasa's Viking missions. Quite probably the best maps available of Olympus Mons or the Syrtis Major Planum (www-pdsimage.wr.usgs.gov/PDS/public/mapmaker/mapmkr.htm).