Update, August 4th: This region appears to be under new ownership, and Happiness is Liberty no longer exists.
The Photogenic Spots section of the Destination guide recently received a boost with 6 new entries into the category. It’s one I keep an eye on, so seeing it rise from 21 to 27 of late has caused an eyebrow to perk up at what might be waiting.
The first entry at the moment is Happiness is Liberty, a build occupying the Homestead region of Our Souls and which has an interesting description:
Where the problems are forgot and the relax begins, enjoy the view of a cold beach, or drink a cup of coffee while you see airplanes take off and land, get lost in a majestic forest or just lay in the vast green landscape …
Teleporting brings you to a coastal scene on a foggy morning. A carousel turns on the boardwalk (or in this case, perhaps broadwalk might be more appropriate!), waves wash the beach and a lighthouse stands sentinel over the bay. It’s a place that has clearly gone through something of a rebuild since the promotional picture for the Destination Guide was taken, and it appears that the shops atop the hill are perhaps designed for renting-out.
Designed by Senna (ndyv), Happiness is Liberty is an interesting mixture of themes – the holiday-like beachfront, complete with pier and boardwalk, carousel and Ferris wheel, he open fields and vistas of hills-across-the-water and the deep woodland setting – all of which blend together and offer something to everyone who enjoys exploring Second Life. The sky may be overcast, the morning foggy – but the wonders of windlight mean it doesn’t take much to tweak things if you want to get a more summer-like feel to your snaps.
This is the kind of region I tend to like – there’s both a good amount to see and the opportunity to wander freely and see what ideas and tales might take shape when framing photos. I’m not entirely convinced as to the style of the shops (which tend to dominate the view from some angles in a most unflattering way), but the rest of the region offers a lot with which I can indulge myself.
“Indulge” because over the last several months – if not over the course of the last year – I’ve become somewhat more insular in my SL life. I’m not entirely sure why this is – and I certainly don’t want to upset friends and acquaintances – but the fact is, I tend to enjoy Second Life and find myself relaxing within it a lot more when I’m simply on my own.
It’s not that I feel antisocial or anything like that; I suppose it’s a case that just like real life, there are times in SL when it is good to be alone with one’s thoughts; to get away from things and feel you have the freedom to simply ignore the chiclets (or the flashing Chat button in the case of CHUI), and just lose yourself in the digital moments.
Which is not to say that happiness is Liberty must be enjoyed alone – the carousel, the cafe and the woodland walks offer more than enough for couples and groups to enjoy if they so wish.
For the photographer, the region has a lot to offer both in the diversity of the landscape and in the fact that is does lend itself to a wide range of windlight options. There are a couple of nips and tucks required in places – the back of the aforementioned shops, for example plus the woodland hillocks which are floating slightly above ground level – possibly because of whatever recent re-working which might have taken place; but these are minor quibbles in the scheme of things and the hillocks can be easily taken care of (and actually are only noticeable from certain angles).
If you’re looking for a new place to explore or simply somewhere to wander and spend a little “me” time, the a trip over to Our Souls might be just the ticket. As someone (I’m sure) once said: happiness can be liberating.