There's a been a bit of happy thread necromancy at the GMing Forums at Treasure Tables, and this one is golden:
To quote Inigo Motoya from The Princess Bride', "Let me explain, no, that would take too long, let me sum up"
A typical Side Events table I use now has the following columns:
Characters' orders (magic and masterwork items on order)
Most column entries have only half a dozen words in at most, but these can blossom into a wealth of detail and opportunities for the players.
This sort of thing doesn't just work for urban campaigns. The entire world ought to be busy about its own ends while the PCs are shaking its foundations. You don't need something as ornate as Craig's tables. Just having a few yearly festivals at the turnings of the seasons will make your campaign world feel more real for your players.