Wandering Poughkeepsie in Second Life

Poughkeepsie, September 2020 – click any image for full size

Poughkeepsie is a parcel covering just under a quarter of a Full region which has the bonus LI capacity applied, that was recently highlighted in the Destination Guide, prompting me to hop over and take a look.

Held and in part designed by Peresphone Kore (LeriaDraven) – Loly Hallison performed a lot of the general landscaping -, the parcel has an interesting description and greeting, reading in turn (via About Land and a sign post at the landing point):

An amazingly whimsical photography sim with plenty to see and do. From date night, chilling by the fire, relaxing in the library, or taking on a game in the arcade (yes the games really work!) This is all my own creation and I’m super excited for this!
Warning. You are about to enter someone else’s dream.
Poughkeepsie, September 2020

Both the description and the sign present a huge promise, and visually, the parcel does deliver on this promise. Located in the north-west of the region, it offers a north-facing beach cupped between a curtain wall of rock that runs diagonally across the back of the parcel from east to south-west, and an upland area. The curtain of cliffs neatly separates Poughkeepsie, with the western table plateau overlooking the north beach and the lowlands running back from it to the feet of the cliffs.

Topped to a large house, the rocky plateau falls directly to the sea to the west, but also hides a low-lying corner of the parcel in which sits a second house complete with a west-facing beach of its own, both screened by giant oaks. This house, and the one top the plateau appear open to the public, with the latter reached by curving stone steps rising from the landing point, the former by following a winding path that curls around the base of the rocky table. This second house, sitting within its screen of giant oaks has something of a Halloween feel in the grounds on its landward side, whilst the shingle beach on its waterside offers the opportunity for a game of chess.

Poughkeepsie, September 2020

Each of the houses is fully furnished, offering multiple rooms to explore, while the house on the plateau additionally offers a rock-and-wood terrace / deck for outdoor seating and an outbuilding that looks like a greenhouse converted for use as a little café. A barn and field, home to cattle and sheep may at first give the impression this is a working farm. However, given the expansive nature of the house, and the small number of animals, it’s hard not to wonder if the latter are more a hobby for the owners, rather than a working source of income.

The lowlands of the parcel offer their own attractions. There’s the sandy, north-side beach, with multiple places to sit and a view of an off-shore (and off-region, although it doesn’t appear to be phantom / without physics) fairy-tale castle. On the grass behind the beach is a little open market area offering fresh fruit and veg, with a seating area ranged before it, complete with cakes, toffee apples and drinks available to visitors. It again suggests that maybe the house up on the plateau is might be a working farm – but equally, it also stands as a vignette on its own.

Poughkeepsie, September 2020

Also to be found in the lowlands are ruins, a folly and the unexpected – an old British red telephone box – as well a sculptures and a fair amount of local wild life. There’s even a touch of Tolkien waiting to be found, although saying Mellon before it as instructed by the runes didn’t result in the expected (and by “saying Mellon” I do mean touching it to see if anything happened, given its scripted nature).

Photogenic, rich in detail and with much to see, Poughkeepsie makes for a rewarding visit – but I say so with a caveat: a visit does come with something of a performance hit. How much of this is down to what is in the parcel itself, and how much is down to what’s in the region as a whole, is hard to say (some of the sculptie giant oaks in the parcel do have high render costs). I found my system peaked a 7 fps with shadows enabled at a moderate draw distance, mostly hovering at 4-5 fps. Disabling shadows raised this to the mid-teens., although even this could drop into single-digits – so be prepared to make adjustments if you’re on  a mid-range system and are used to having things like shadows on all the time.

Poughkeepsie, September 2020

Nevertheless, Poughkeepsie offers a rewarding visit for those willing to make any necessary adjustments.

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