Netropolis 

So you’ve read our entire annual "Best of Detroit" issue and still want to know more about what to do and where to go?

Don’t worry. In this high-tech, data-happy world of ours, we’ve all become information addicts. Allow me to ease your pain.

What you really need is more info. That’s right. These days, one measly newspaper is just not enough. I may be biased, but the first place I look for knowledge on any person, place or thing is the World Wide Web. And don’t be fooled by that term World. The Web has as much to say about what’s in your own backyard as it does about, say, New York City, Beijing or Vladivostock.

So without further ado, let’s take a semi-random look at what the Internet can tell us about this year’s Best of Detroit award winners.

Top Ten Best-Kept Local Secrets:
Hamtramck (No. 4)

Hamtramck a secret? OK, maybe if you’ve never crossed Eight Mile to get paczkis on Fat Tuesday (voted "Best Local Custom"). But I bet you didn’t know the city has its very own home page.

Granted, the site — with its quaint "A Touch of Europe in America!" slogan — won’t win any awards for layout or graphic design. However, its features — including a directory of 30-odd businesses from ethnic restaurants to boutiques — are indispensable for any self-respecting city resident or Hamtown aficionado.

Plus, you really can reach out and touch Europe ... or at least Poland. There’s a great selection of links to key Polish Web destinations, from renting a car in Bialystok to sending flowers to Krakow.

Best Alternate Name For Comerica Park:
Tiger Stadium

Forget the surface irony here. Clearly, the results to this question reveal more than a hint of our collective baseball sentimentality. And why not? After all, this is the venerable Tiger Stadium’s last year as a true working ballpark.

If you’re interested in getting that last fix of Michigan and Trumbull fever before the spring thaw, check out the Unofficial Detroit Tigers Home Page.

In addition to providing the requisite sports stats and team roster, this information-packed site includes a complete spring training schedule and the amazing "Interactive Stadium Map." Using this map, you can display a virtual view of the field from any section of the stadium. It even tells you when you have an obstructed view. Ouch.

Best Detroit Musician to be Inducted into the Hall of Fame:
Iggy Pop, Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger
(3-way tie)

Hello, Cleveland! Our readers might have realized that Aretha Franklin is already a Hall of Famer if they’d only paid a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Web site.

You can take a virtual tour of the museum, find out which rock stars share your birthday (mine’s the same as Robin Trower) and listen to streaming audio from Elvis, the Beatles and, of course, the Queen of Soul. Or go to the Inductees’ forum and join the heated discussion about who should be inducted next. You might even incite a write-in campaign for the Silver Bullet Band. Vive la democracy of the Web!

Best Place to Buy Affordable Art:
C-Pop Gallery

Forget affordable art ... the hip C-Pop Gallery’s Web site is damn pretty and it’s absolutely free. Although parts of this visually impressive site are still "under construction," there’s a clever horizontally scrolling photo retrospective of Detroit’s besieged Heidelberg Project and its recent partial deconstruction. Ultimately, this cyber destination may be all that remains of artist Tyree Guyton’s controversial polka-dotted urban landscape.

Best Building to Implode Next:
Renaissance Center

Call me cynical, but the Ren Cen seems like too easy a pick for this one. With so many fine buildings to destroy, why choose something so obvious?

Instead, surf over to Detroit Skyscrapers where you’ll discover a surprisingly complete collection of photos and vital statistics on dozens of also-rans, including the gray-and-boxy Edison Plaza, the Barry Sanders
mural-cum-Nike commercial known as the Cadillac Tower, and of course downtown’s big and beautiful ghost hotel, the Book Cadillac.

Best Way to Play Hooky from Work: Go to the DIA and Top Five Reasons to go to the Metro Times Web Site:
Waste time at work

These two categories may seem unrelated at first. However, the next time you’re bored on the job and can’t sneak away to your favorite museum, surf over to the DIA’s Web site. While certainly not as culturally enriching as pondering Rodin’s The Thinker in person, or marveling at those amazingly short suits of armor, the DIA site is an informative way to virtually ditch work. It uses text and pictures to illuminate the works in seven different galleries, including African, Asian and 20th century art. It’s almost as good as those arty multimedia CD-ROMs, and a heck of a lot easier to sneak past the boss.

Now, quick ... get back to work! Or at least, surf over to something your co-workers are regularly using. You know, like www.metrotimes.com.

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