Somewhere Else BKLYN is a region design that’s be getting a lot of attention of late, offering as it does one of the more unique settings for Second Life photography.
Designed by Littlesquaw and ToXxicShadow, it presents an urban setting (the name suggesting it might be drawn from Brooklyn, New York), looking across a narrow stretch of water (the East River) towards the shining towers and sky scrapers of a city’s beating heart.
The region – a Homestead – offers its own high-rise buildings, but these are dwarves in comparison to those across the water, and they are sa lot shabbier. They form what appears to be little more than a thoroughfare for traffic that is busily trying to get among, or coming from, the gleaming spires of the city. Two busy roads run into the scene from a single bridge that reaches out towards the city’s promise of wealth and (literally) high life, the occupants of the vehicles cramming them perhaps unaware of the place they are attempting to drive through and the fact that it has life of its own.
Perhaps they prefer not to dwell on thoughts of those living in this seedier setting that sits between plush office and outlying suburban home. Which is a shame, as there is the promise of life all around in the side streets and alleys here; even if it does form a mixed bag.
Down one street, for example, sits an oriental market, complete with open air food stands where meat sizzles on hotplates above naked flames and seafood broils in a broth. Elsewhere, a sign sitting atop a building, but at a distant eye-level from the roads here offers the promise of Little Italy, while flashing neon signs entice with offers of food or other distractions.
This is a place where art comes in the form of wall-covering graffiti and where age is always apparent – not just because of the grime and stains of automobile exhausts and decades of wear-and-tear on road surface, sidewalk and building, but also in the way old-style wooden advertising hoarding rub shoulders with their more modern electric counterparts.
It’s clear that this is also a place of commerce – the subway station is proof of that, the maw of its entrance busy with the hustle of people coming and going; but it’s also clear that this is a place past its prime and wanting a little TLC: refuse lays piled here and there, some of the streets are littered and uncared for while poverty is embodied in the lone waterfront sentinel of a bag lady’s shopping cart laden with the bric-a-bric of things she has acquired and which to her offer a meaning for life.
Packed with detail larger and small, and given life through the many characters to be found in its streets, Somewhere Else BKLYN offers an immersive environment (have your local sounds on) environment that is easy to explore and rich in opportunities of Second Life photographers.
- Somewhere Else BKLYN (Two Worlds, rated General)