We received an invitation from Dya OHare to visit the latest iteration of her region builds, “We’re not so far from the Caribbean,” she said, referencing her last design I covered in these pages (see Dya’s Scent of the Caribbean in Second Life). “I’ve tried to show a bit of the Southern Life and I hope you like it.”
So off we hopped to see Dya’s Southern Twilight, a place that presents a rich mix of southern American life in the form of aspects of New Orleans together with sights that might be found in Mississippi and Louisiana. This sounds a lot to cover in a single region, but Dya does a good job of mixing multiple aspects of these states and the Crescent City, with touches that suggest the era of the 1930s-1940s – although it could just as easily be a modern setting.
The region is diagonally split by a river running from the north-east to the south-west, representative of the Mississippi itself. The landing point sides on the north bank of the river, on a road that serves a built-up area suggesting the older parts of New Orleans. Here can be found multiple places of business, side streets with cobbled surfaces and tram tracks, a place where street urchins play (or perhaps whisper plans to hop a tram whilst avoiding the fare), and an open air café awaits patrons.
Also to be found on this side of the river is a touch of the city’s French Quarter. This takes the form of a street overlooked by wrought iron guarded balconies draped with flags, with more fluttering from short poles leaning out from the railing tops. Lights strung across the street help illuminate it, together with the signs for the local bar and the hotel, whilst the end of the street is awash in colours that splashes over aged whitewashed walls from two tall street lamps.
This built-up area is bracketed by sights often associated with New Orleans in film and television: a paddle steamer moored on the river, and a cemetery complete with family mausoleums. For the romantics, one of the Crescent City’s white horse-drawn carriages sits at the roadside as well.
The south side of the river has a small harbour area that connects it to the north side with the assistance of a girder bridge of the kind seen along to Mississippi, but also opens out to contain a suggestion of the bayou, complete with trees rising from misty waters, with cabins potted in the open spaces.
Separated from the bayou by shrubs and dense foliage sits one of the grand old plantation houses associated with the southern states. Set back from the riverside road, it rises from the end of a long footpath, the front door open to invite visitors into the partially furnished interior. Horses graze in the field alongside the the house, whilst a tall hedge guards a small, neat garden to the rear, which also has access to a local beach.
Rich in detail with plenty to discover, appreciate and photograph, Dya’s Southern Twilight continues Dya’s tradition in creating engaging locations for people to visit.
Our thanks also to Shaun Shakespeare for the LM.
- Dya’s Southern Twilight (Phantos, rated Moderate)