A return to Summers Wind in Second Life

Summers Wind; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrSummers Wind – click any image for full size

I’ve recently been drawn back to travelling to places in Second Life I’ve not visited for a while, and one of the places that sprang to mind – even though it has only been a couple of years since I was last there – is Summers Wind. The hub of Mexi Lane’s three “Wind” regions, the others two being Winters Wind and Autumns Wind, both of which adjoin it, but are given to private residential properties.

The major thing that drew me to Summers Wind the first time around was the extraordinary manner in which landscape designer Rumegusc Altamura has blended landscape and architecture in the public regions of the region to create something truly memorable: a great plateau of rock rises from the middle of the island. And I’m delighted to say that, but for a few changes, it is still very much the centrepiece of the design, with the region as a whole still a marvellous and eye-catching visit.

Summers Wind; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrSummers Wind

Pitted and sculpted into to great sweeps and curves as if by wind and water, the plateau is worlds away from the usual tables of rock seen in Second Life. At the foot of that massive upthrust of land is a series of deep caverns, each fronted by marvellous Graeco-Roman architecture: ornate lintels supported by great Doric style columns. All bar one of the caverns is home to a small store, the exception being offered as a conference space.

Running northwards from the southern coast of the region, the plateau splits Summers Wind roughly in two. On its west side are private rental properties – so please keep this in mind when visiting. To the east (and atop the plateau) are the public areas, albeit it with a couple of private residences.

Summers Wind; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrSummers Wind

Nestled against the eastern coast sits the Café des Arts. Maintaining Mexi’s patronage of the arts in Second Life – she has supported the arts in SL for most of her in-world time, most notably through her former arts region, MIC- Imagin@rium – the café regularly hosts informal exhibitions set out along its wooden decks, and at the time of my return, it featured a display of physical world art by Italian artist Giancarlo Petrini.

Just to the north of the café are little bumper boats that can be use to explore the waterways around and through all three of the Wind isles – but again, do please remember Winters Wind and autumn’s Wind are primarily residential in nature. These can be accessed overland via a stone footbridge in the north-east corner of Summers Wind, which links it to Winters Wind, with more private residences scattered long the north shore of Summers Wind to face Winters Wind across the intervening water.

Summers Wind; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrSummers Wind

When we first came to Summers Wind, there was a glorious underground club space beneath the north reach of the great plateau. While the entrance remains, the club has now gone (sadly, as the design was exceptionally well done), a spa now replacing it. There was also a way up to the top of the plateau – a winding trail and steps, which also seems to have been removed at some point. Now, so far as I can tell, the way up to the top of the plateau is via the signpost near the landing point. Clicking on the various boards on it indicating the various public locations – including the cliff-top conservatory – will deliver a landmark to the destination, allowing visitors to teleport to their desired destination.

In writing about Summers Wind back in 2016, I used a stanza from Summer Wind, the 1965 classic by Johnny Mercer and made famous by Frank Sinatra. I did so both because the name of the region put me in mind of the song, and because the song’s source, the German Der Sommerwind (Bradtke and Meier) uses the Sirocco wind of the Mediterranean as a metaphor, which fits with the wind-sculpted look of Summers Wind’s great plateau. Given how little has changed with the region, I still find the song as applicable today as I did back then.

Summers Wind; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrSummers Wind

Which is another way of saying Summers Wind remains a stunning and beautiful design that is a delight to visit, explore and spend time within, containing its own unique look and a special sense of romance.

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