Ivy Falls in Second Life

Ivy Falls; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrIvy Falls – click on any image for full size

Miro Collas tapped me about taking a visit to Ivy Falls, an Adult rated Full region open (in part) to visitors to enjoy, explore and photograph, so we hopped over on a Sunday evening for a look around.

“It is a sim I built and share with my friend Rekka,” Kere Delcon says of the region, Rekka being Rekka Berchot. He continues, “Our private homes are on the north side of the land, but the rest is open and free for all to explore and use. Fair warning, though! It’s an adult playground designed for adults only to enjoy.” Ivy Falls is gay-friendly, and the Adult warning appears to reference the hints of BDSM which can be found in the region – nothing that is in any way blatant, but which can be found indoors in places.

Ivy Falls; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrIvy Falls

Our visit began high above the majority of the land, atop a table of rock rising from near the centre of the region – although at the time of our visit, there was no set landing point. Not only does this offer a vantage point from which to survey the rest of the land and the surrounding mountains, it also provides an introduction to the region via a noticeboard, which  offers a general welcome and a few notices on visiting – particularly in reference to the private homes on the north side of the region.

There are two means for getting off of this plateau (not including jumping – flying is disabled by default): a teleport pad or a via a hang glider. The former is located by the welcome sign, and offers a quick route to any one of the major locations in the region. The hang glider can be obtained from the west end of the plateau (an empty glider will auto-rez as the previous one is used) and is fun to fly. use the arrow keys for banking or increasing / decreasing your speed, and the page keys to climb / descend, and simply stand when you are close to the ground.

Ivy Falls; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrIvy Falls

The major locations open to visitors comprise the aforementioned lighthouse, a bar, a bath house / gym complex with a terrace before them, complete with a playable game of chess; a nearby bar and beach (with beach cabins, which have their own teleport option), a sauna a little more out in the wilds, a camp site, and a pier where sailing and rowing boats are moored. All of these destinations are within easy walking distance of one another across the south extent of the region, with the beach, cabins and pier to the west,  and the sauna up in the rock uplands to the east.

Most of the southern side of the land resembles a small resort town, nestled under craggy shoulders of sheer rock faces. This is the home of the elevated terrace and gym / bath house facilities (indoors and out), together with a small club house looking out over the snow-covered terrace. Beneath this, to the west, and linking it with the beach and pier, is a small commercial parade, with various businesses including a cosy café, a studio, a gentlemen’s hairdressers, the bar (through the door and downstairs), and what appears to be a gallery awaiting occupation. With cobbled paving and a small outdoor seating area with gazebo, fire pit and fountain, this part of the region is watched over by the red-roofed lighthouse.

Ivy Falls; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrIvy Falls

It’s well worth exploring this side of the region carefully, as there are numerous footpaths winding their way around it. Some – such as the one leading under a rock arch to the beach on the west shore, may be obvious to the eye, other – such as those leading off the trail to the sauna – perhaps less so. The later in particular offer an excuse for a walk, and when followed reveal one or two more points of interest.

The private residences, as noted, are on the north side of the region, and physically separated from the rest of the land by a lake served by two channels of water – all of which are currently frozen in the winter setting. When exploring, it can be tempting to slip across the ice and continue wanderings on that northern shore – so please do keep in mind Kere’s request to respect the privacy of the residents there, and stay away from that side of the region unless invited.

Ivy Falls; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrIvy Falls

Set in a perpetual winter evening’s light, this iteration of Ivy Falls makes for a pleasant visit with plenty of opportunities for the Second Life photographer, either using the default windlight or under assorted daytime settings – I opted to take some of mine under a morning setting.

SLurl Details

Advertisements

A trip to R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S. in Second Life

 R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S.; Inara Pey, January 2018, on Flickr R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S. – click on any image for full size

Rahmenlos is the private team project of the Rahmenlos-Chaos-Team (R.C.T.). We are a mixed troupe from different German-speaking areas. And as different we are, R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S. is too. Everyone of us got involved with his own ideas and personality. And the result is really good. Whether you like beach, nice landscape, City- or Club-Live, animals, hidden places or just much small things to explore: everyone will find his favourite place!

Thus reads the introduction to R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S, a 1/2 region design Shakespeare and Max pointed us towards. It’s an interesting team / community build, which as the introduction states, offers a little something of everything. Occupying the south side of a Full region, there is no set landing point, so I’ve opted a location on the east side of the parcel, close to its northern edge. This takes the form of a small precinct of town-style buildings which include a coffee bar and cheese shop sitting before a terraced seating area, together with a brewery, and where an information giver is located.

 R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S.; Inara Pey, January 2018, on Flickr R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S.

Across a rough cobbled road from these is a second piazza, home to another shop and a small art gallery. Two more shops are close by, guarding the way to a small hamlet of houses beyond which open fields stretch westwards, climbing gently up to a Tuscan villa sitting atop a low hill.

Beyond the hamlet, the cobbled roads quickly give way to a dirt track that runs up to the villa. Along the way, it is joined by others, like tributaries joining a stream. One of these offers the way to a rough path leading down to a small beach on the south side of the land, others offer paths to the houses and cottages scattered across the landscape below the villa. The largest of these houses also sits on the south side of the land above a range of low cliffs rising from the sea, a small music venue in the field alongside it. Inland from here, a thatched cottage and windmill watch over cows and horses grazing in the fields.

 R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S.; Inara Pey, January 2018, on Flickr R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S.

To the east of the land, reach via a winding road and a bridge, is a small artist’s commune, with one studio on the “mainland”, the others on a small island separated from the rest of the land via a small channel. Above these, facing the little hamlet of houses and shops sits a further house, a large pond before it, with a folly on the far side. Secluded by trees, overlooking the sea, it has all the looks of a private country home, a getaway. Closer examination, however, reveals it to be a cosy café.

With ducks and geese, deer, pigs and birds, as well as horses and cattle, the land is rich in detail and natural sounds, while the art gallery and studios offer further attractions for people to see. All of which makes R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S. a pleasing visit. When doing so, I would recommend perhaps trying out various windlight options; I’m not convinced the default does the land full justice. For the images here, I took the liberty of using Annan Adored’s Morning Dream – with a little retouching through GIMP.

 R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S.; Inara Pey, January 2018, on Flickr R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S.

SLurl Details

Winter at La Vie in Second Life

La Vie; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrLa Vie – click on any image for full size

Reader and fellow grid traveller Diomita Maurer (her blog is here) dropped me a line about the winter look at La Vie, the homestead by Krys Vita and Arol Lightfoot we’ve visited twice before (see here and here for more), suggesting Caitlyn and I  pay it a further visit before the snow melts. So, we headed over for a look.

As with the autumn build, which we visited in October, the winter design is built around a central body of water. However, almost everything else within the region has been completely redesigned and covered in a soft blanket of snow – with more falling from the sky – although it does retain the same use of muted colours and soft tones.

La Vie; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrLa Vie

Visitors arrive on a track running along the bank of this water, the snow finding it hard to gain a purchase on the rutted earth. Set back from this track sits a large house, aged both inside and out, warmly furnished and decorated for Christmas. In the ground behind the house sits a raised deck with a small gazebo and swing, a hot tub sitting out under the falling snow, its heat countering the colder air. The deck offers a view out over the frigid waters surround the land, a view which likely makes the water in the hot tub all that more inviting as a means of avoiding the cold.

The reason the snow is having a hard time finding purchase on the track is revealed further around the central pond: a tracked snow plough is paused mid-way through its work of clearing the worst of the snow. It sits parked near the towers of an old ski lift, a rezzing point for sledges at the best of one of the towers. Nor is this the only rezzer in the region:  a closer look at the pond will reveal signboards offering skates for those who ice a little dancing on ice.

La Vie; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrLa Vie

Follow the track in the opposite direction to the snow plough, and it will loop you around the pond to another house, a small shack selling fir trees beside it. The track ends just beyond this, but travellers can continue across the rough terrain, to where a fence marks the boundary of another house, sitting in the south-west corner of the land. A rugged, curve ridge rises westward of this house, climbing in steps to a flat table of rock topped by an old church – although there doesn’t appear to be a way to easily climb the rocks and reach it.

Across this landscape sit cars and tucks with fir trees strapped to roofs, in the flat beds or poking out of the sunroof. There are also numerous places to sit – from sleighs pulled by a horse or reindeer to park benches to swings – as well as in the houses. These  combine to make La Vie’s winter setting very pleasing to see and photograph and in which to spend time sitting, talking and just passing the time.

La Vie; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrLa Vie

We once again enjoyed our time visiting, and will doubtless return to see further seasonal changes at La Vie.

SLurl Details

  • La Vie (La Vie, rated; Moderate)

Celebrating music, films and dance in Second Life

The Listening Room

Second Life offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy music, films, dancing and dance troupes in Second Life; however, R. Crap Mariner and Marx Dudek bring all of these together deep inside the bowels of Mount Edloe, on Crap’s home region of Edloe.

It is here, either reached via the road winding up the mountain from the lands beneath, or via direct teleport, visitors can find three interconnected venues: The Listening Room, The Screening Room and the Bad Luck Steak Gallery.

“The Listening Room (or TLR for short),” Marx explains, “Began as a private place for me to lure friends out of my IM box and into a common space where I could chat with them all at once – with the promise of music. I try to play a set every Wednesday night from 6-8pm SLT. Feel free to stop by!”

Bad Luck Streak Gallery

TLR is the largest space (by volume) in the mountain, offering something of an industrial chic environment of high brick walls, shipping containers, pipes and metal catwalks and stairs. The shipping containers form the backdrop to a DJ’s booth, with pallets and trolleys topped with mattresses, bolsters and cushions offering a cosy sitting area close by, alongside an impressive collection of vinyl records. Billy Bragg, Bowie, the Goons and more look down from posters on the walls, while HMV is celebrated via graffiti on one wall.

Opening off of The Listening Room, but connected to it over all four levels, the Bad Luck Streak Gallery is curated by Crap and is a showcase of dance troupes from across SL, (and also of Crap’s own photography). Each level of the gallery space has a number of framed slide shows on display – each representing the work of a specific dance troupe in Second Life. Click an image on any frame for a dialogue box of options, including paging back / forward through the slides and receiving a copy of any individual images you like. Push pins in front of each of the frames provide a landmark to the specific dance troupe’s theatre / home region, and may also offer a note card of information.

Bad Luck Streak Gallery

Crap notes of the gallery, “There are a lot more dance troupes out there in Second Life. My friend Sho Kyong got me into Dance Performance in Second Life. She kept inviting me to Guerilla Burlesque performances, and I finally made the time to see for myself. Now, I roam from performance to performance, trying to capture a moment of motion and emotion. I did my best to display as many groups as possible here, but I only have so much wall space and prims to work with. And I don’t know about every dance group in Second Life.” Personally, I think this is a superb resource for anyone wishing to discover, with almost 40 troupes represented, and Crap unsells the emotions caught in the images.

Connected to The Listening Room via the stars climbing the various catwalks (and a passage in the mountain) or via the ornate Maxivator elevator, The Screening Room sits atop both The Listening Room and the Bad Luck Streak Gallery (and so in the first venue to be reached as visitors enter the mountain’s tunnel after climb the road up from the rest of the region. With a foyer area offering an eclectic mix of movie posters and where refreshments might be had, a red carpet lead the way to the screening room proper.

The Screening Room

“A long time SL dream of mine realised,” Marx says of it. “I finally have a movie theatre! I will be showing films every Wednesday, and other nights as well. Foreign films, classic films, B-movies, documentaries, music movies, and more!” At the time of my visit, the film on offer was 2007’s Fears of the Dark, scheduled for a Thursday – although I confess, I’m not sure which Thursday.

Hidden within Edloe mountain, all three offer a great set of venues, although both The Listening Room and The Screening Room are best suited to smaller numbers. Those wishing to be kept appraised of events at both can join The Listening Room group via the group joining in TLR.

Slurl Details

Return to Brand New Colony in Second Life

Brand New Colony; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrBrand New Colony – click on any image for full size

In September 2017, we visited Brand New Colony, a homestead designed by Bunny Blessed (Svelte Blessed) and Mimara Blessed (Mimara), and we very much enjoyed our explorations. So when Miro Collas sent me a message to say the region had relocated and in the process had been rebuilt, we decided to jump to the new location and take a look.

Still in the hands of the Blessed family, and designed once again by Bunny and Mimara, with assistance from Seren La Croix (torturedstar), the region in its new location carries on some of the themes from the September 2017 design whilst presenting a wholly new look that touches on fantasy in an eye-catching and imaginative way.

Brand New Colony; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrBrand New Colony

As with the September design, a core aspect of this new build is islands. Surrounded by tall, grass-covered peaks, Brand New Island presents six islands – although three are not what you might expect. The largest of these islands is a rugged affair, thrusting up from foamy waters, its flat top home to a large villa which echoes part of the look from the September 2017 design. Furnished indoors and within its courtyard, the villa shares this table of rock with an outdoor terrace located closer to the water, sitting on a low shoulder of rock reached via a stone stairway. With plenty of room to sit around the fireplace, this terrace ends at a small jetty against which a Loonetta 31 is moored.

The terrace also offers a fine view across the water to two more islands – these so closely linked, they at first appear to be a single body of land rising gently from the surrounding waters. It is only while exploring that the narrow channel dividing them becomes apparent, stone and wood bridges spanning it to link these two richly wooded islands. Much is to be found on them, be it the red-roofed chapel or the little Romany encampment or, a little further afield and more secluded, various points where couples can sit and cuddle under the shade of trees or by rounded pools of quiet water.

Brand New Colony; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrBrand New Colony

But how does one get from the villa island to its neighbours? The answer to that question isn’t hard to find, lying as it does within the unique presentation of the three remaining islands, one of which forms the landing point for visitors, and is home to a gazebo those who visited the September 2017 design will likely find familiar.

Rather than being surrounded by the region’s foamy waters, these three islands are floating – rising, even – above them. It is as if gravity has forgotten them, so they have cut loose from their foundations to start a slow rise into the sky, setting smaller boulders and rocks tumbling and spinning in the air in defiance of gravity in the process. But they have not been allowed to escape entirely: great chains anchor the larger two of these floating islands to their cousins below, the chains massive and rusted, forming iron bridges visitors can use to travel between those below and those in the air.

Brand New Colony; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrBrand New Colony

Two of these islands seem content with their lot, firmly anchored in place to those below. The third, however, linked to the landing point island, appears more wayward. Canted at a slight angle, it seems to resent the massive chain impeding its upward progress and is still attempting to ascend, the great trees on its grassy top seeming to grasp the grassy rock in their roots, grimly determined to hang on.

With chains connecting it to both the villa island and one of the wooded islands, the landing point offers a natural connection between the two, while to the south-east, and linked only to the villa island, the last of those floating in the area offers its flat top to a garden setting. Focused on a large gazebo, this features statues, fountains, a rich variety of unusual flower planters – including an old grand piano and a garden swing to an overgrown tea party attended by stone sculptures, presenting a wonderfully fanciful scene.

Brand New Colony; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrBrand New Colony

For those who prefer not to chance the chains linking the islands together, a teleport system is supplied; look for the chalk signs boards found at or near each of the major locations and click on them for a list of destinations. Make sure you accept the local experience, and TPs will be automatic on selecting a destination thereafter.

At the time of our visit, some construction work still seemed to be in progress, so some things may well change over the coming days. However, that shouldn’t put visitors off. This latest iteration of Brand New Colony retains all the beauty of the former region, while offering something very new and fun to explore.  Our only word of warning is that it is rich in textures, some of which can take a little time to load.

Brand New Colony; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrBrand New Colony

SLurl Details