I first visited Alki, the music and scenic region designed by Zoidyn (Zoidyn Kytori) and Alana Onyett, far back in 2013, which is Second Life terms, is almost a lifetime ago. Back then, it was described as an “evolving project inspired by the Pacific Northwest”, so I was curious to know what might have changed in the intervening years.
The overall answer might at first appear to be “not a lot”: the landscape is still the same, there’s the same mix of venues, the paths are familiar, and so on. However, the region has changed in subtle ways – but that’s the point of evolution; things don’t happen overnight, they happen over time.
The high plateau dominating the north side of the island is still there, but the Z&A coffee-house, one of several music venues in the region, and the neighbouring art studio both occupy different buildings when compared to my original visit. These now sit to one side of a slightly redesigned plateau, complete with sidewalk, street lamps and a large paved area on which sits a model of the original coffee-house and art studio.
Getting up to the plateau is a case of either following the tree-lined path which curls its way between cliffs and trees up to the heights, or via a steeper climb up the wooden stairs clinging determinedly to the east side of the plateau’s cliff. Getting down, however, is an easier affair: just grab the zip line that will take you across the landscape below to the rugged hills to the south of the region.
Well, easier to a point – it’s still a bit of a scramble to get down to ground level again, but when you do, the rest of the region is yours to explore – and there is a lot of it, whether it’s the west-facing beach, looking out over the bay with plenty of snuggle spots and under the watchful gaze of the Dragonfly Inn, or around the lake eastwards, through the woodlands to the camp-site and an activity area offering sailing, Greedy, Greedy, a children’s playground and a water slide; or northwards around the lake, under the lee of the platea, and along the path to the open-air music venues.
To the east sits a small island, reached by pedalo, with a contemplative oriental garden for Tai Chi followed by tea, and with caves to be explored below. Northwards of this, rising on sturdy wooden legs from the water, is the Z&A Fun Factory, where an assortment of table games, arcade games and other distractions can be found, including an annoyingly addictive game of rock, paper, scissors!
When regions seem to come and go, sometimes with barely a blink between arrival and departure, it’s good to see places like Alki continuing over the years, offering a place both familiar and new to visit and re-visit and enjoy. Should you decide to hop over and take a look, do please consider a donation at the landing point to help ensure it remains a place to be shared in the coming months and years.
- Alki (Rated: Moderate)