An afternoon in Avedon Park

Avedon Park
Avedon Park

In my Second Life wanderings, I sometimes receive recommendations of places to visit, which are always welcome. So when Sammi Borgin recently dropped me a line about Avedon Park, occupying most of the full region of Newfie Land, I set out to investigate.

Avedon Park is home to The Factory, a club located up in the sky, and a landscaped park down at ground level, which is both open to the public and a home to the creative team behind the region. There’s a lot to see and do here, with walks, water features, castles, a touch of steampunk, a photo studio /gallery and more.

Created by Aura Firehawk and Karma Avedon, the region is largely free to roam, but as noted above, do be aware that this is also their home, so do please take note of any privacy signs you find while exploring. Also, please keep in mind that the property in the south-east corner of the region, separated from the rest by tall mountains, is not a part of the park but an entirely separate private residence.

Avedon Park
Avedon Park

The arrival point, located towards the west side of the region offers a teleport system for getting around and to get to the club overhead, and an information board which will offer to open a link to the Avedon Park website when clicked. This provides general information on the park, including a history to the place, which introduces readers to James Wellington Avedon, “a noted  entrepreneurial inventor and explorer” of the early 20th Century, credited with discovering the land, and Captain Charles T. Firehawk, “the noted WWI pilot and accomplished explorer”, Avedon’s partner.  The website makes for an entertaining (and informative) read when exploring the region, and has some very nice photography within it.

Where you go following your arrival is entirely up to you; the teleport system makes reaching some parts of the park easier than when using pedal extremities, but I do urge you to wander and take your time on foot – there is much to see (and do), and a lot of little details which make the time taken in wandering more than worthwhile.

Avedon Park
Avedon Park

Within the area of the park containing the arrival point you’ll find the Avedon Gallery / studio, a private house boat, a tree house and two large bodies of water. A path wanders through the area, crossing a stone bridge into Firehawk Cove, an island on the north-west side of the region offering places to relax by the water or to dance in the shade of a gazebo and even the opportunity to try your hand at fencing with a friend or two on a pier at the water’s edge.

Just before the bridge to Firehawk Cove, the path branches, with one part of it leading you across two wooden bridges and a small islet to Firehawk Island. Here you can follow a wooded path to a small beach and the Sanctum Tower, which faces Sky Castle across a narrow neck of water.

Sky Castle itself is apparently available to rent as a venue for weddings – although you might have to get your feet wet in getting to it! The castle – one of Alex Bader’s stunning creations (as is much else to be found here), sits on its own island on the north-east of the region and offers a commanding view back across the water to the Sanctum Tower and across to the tall cliffs to the east, which have further walks at their feet and the Avedon Amazing Music Machine further up.  The cliffs are reached via Fennux Park, home to a small colony of Fennux.

Avedon Park
Avedon Park

This is another region which has been put together with a wonderful eye for creativity and invention – the website accompanying it really is a must-read if one wishes to fully immerse oneself here, as it adds depth and colour to the park.

Windlight settings are supplied with the region, but as usual, I opted to play with my own in taking snaps, and the region is very photogenic in this respect, being suited to a wide range of windlight themes and settings, whether preset (viewer allowing) or your own.

I very much enjoyed my afternoon of wandering through the park, and loved all the little touches to be found – the deer drinking at the lakeside, the bird bath, the Amazing Music Machine and so on. For thosew who like a little activity, there is the aforemention fencing, opportunities to go swiming and various games to be found scattered across the park. Do make sure you have sounds enabled and speakers / headphones on when you visit, as the soundscape has also been put together with care.

All told, a recommended visit, and my thanks to Sammi for pointing Avedon Park out to me.

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Murders, broomsticks, horsemen and creepy creatures

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in Voice, brought to Second Life by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library SL.

As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday October 6th

13:30: Tea Time at Baker Street – The Adventure of the Golden Pince-nez

Holmes (l) examines a bureau in Professor Coram’s study, directing his questions to the maid (Sidney Paget, 1904, Strand Magazine)

Caledonia and Corwyn bring us another installment in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s volume of stories The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

Willoughby Smith, secretary to the invalid Professor Coram, has been murdered.

There is no apparent motive for the crime, comitted using a sealing-wax knife belonging to the professor, and the local police are stumped, leading Inspector Stanley Hopkins to pay Holmes and Watson a visit one dark November night to seek assistance. He brings with him the only clues to the matter: a pair of golden Pince-nez glasses found clutched in Smith’s hand, and his dying words, uttered to the maid who found him.

“The professor; it was she.”

Holmes examines the glasses and stuns Hopkins with a series of pronouncements: their owner is a woman of good breeding, refined and well-dressed, who has been to an optician at least twice during the past few months. Holmes even goes on to give a description of some of her physical characteristics. 

Agreeing to assist the police, Holmes and Watson go with Hopkins to the scene of the crime the following day, and the game is well and truly afoot.

18:00: Magicland Storytime – Bonfires and Broomsticks

bonfires-broomsticksAuthor Mary Norton is perhaps best know for her long-running series of fantasy books The Borrowers (named for the first book of the series) published between 1952 and 1982.

However, her first published work, in 1943, was entitled The Magic Bed Knob; or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons, a fantasy piece about an elderly woman who practices magic for a hobby and has a magic bed knob, and three London children evacuated to the country during the bombing of London.

This was followed in 1945 by the sequel Bonfires and Broomsticks. Then, in 1957, the two books were republished as a single volume entitled Bed-Knob and Broomstick. And it was a play on this title by which the story became most widely known, when in 1971, Walt Disney released the film Bedknobs and Broomsticks starring Angela Lansbury and the late David Tomlinson.

Join Caledonia Skytower at Magicland Park as Caledonia reads from the second volume of this classic tale.

Monday October 7th, 19:00: Sci-fi Classics

With Gyro Muggins.

Tuesday October 8th, 19:00: Spookable Irving: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

sleepy-hollowAs All Hallows creeps ever closer, how better than to get in the mood than with some classic tales of horror and spookiness from literature?

Perhaps one of the most well-known (and well-loved) stories of dark hauntings is Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which is also one of the earliest examples of American literature of enduring popularity.

while setting his tale in post-revolutionary America in the year 1790, Irving in fact wrote the sorry tale of school teacher Ichabod Crane and his ill-fated encounter with the rumoured Headless Horseman in 1819 while visiting England, where his also penned Rip Van Winkle. Both The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle first appeared in print in his serial The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, which also marked Irving’s first use of that pen name. As with Rip Van Winkle, Irving claims he first heard about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow from “Diedrich Knickerbocker”, a fictional “Dutch Historian”.

Join Derry McMahon and Bear Silvershade as they delve into this classic tale.

Wednesday October 9th, 19:00: Bits O’ Poe

Caledonia Skytower continues the journey into haunting tales and dark stories as she presents a selection from the master of the horror genre, Edgar Allen Poe.

Thursday October 10th, Creepy Little Creatures

Very few things are more frightening than unearthly creatures conceived by the masterminds of supernatural fiction. This collection of the macabre includes stories from F. Murray Gilchrist, Edgar Allan Poe, E.F. Benson, others, all presented by Shandon Loring.

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for September and October is Water for People. Have questions? IM or notecard Caledonia Skytower.

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