Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Official Recommendations: The First Five

The Official Second Life blog recently had a post recommending "Ten Photogenic Spots" to visit in-world. So I did, heading to spots I've seen before and ones that I've never visited, such as the Grand Canyon (SLurl), a beautiful build that takes some liberties with reality. Black bears outside a campsite might seem plausible, but I highly doubt alligators are to be found in the seemly abundant waters at the bottom of the canyon in the adjacent Crater Lake region. I'm not going to get into the dinosaurs. I had fun nonetheless, exploring the whole sim, including the snow skiing resort section with more bears, a working ski lift, and free sledding. Other activities abound, including Zip Lines for moving from the canyon rim to the floor, motorcycles, boats, skydiving, dancing, cuddling, games, and lots more. But the views are impressive. You will want to set your graphics to Ultra if you can, to make sure you see as much of the scenery as possible.

Crater Lake from the Canyon Rim

Lake Tahoe from the Summit
Next I visited the Eiffel Tower, one of many in-world, though this version (SLurl) is one of the better renditions. It actually uses two of four connected regions to fit in all the prims needed for it's beautifully accurate re-creation. The setting represents Paris circa 1900 with "statues" of people in period dress, appropriate textures, and a general lack of anything more modern outside the shops. Yes, as you'd expect in Paris, there is a lot of shopping to do with clothes and jewelry everywhere, but you can even buy souvenirs such as a L$10 model of the tower. Dancing is everywhere, including at the top of the tower, which you can also jump from with or without the free, high-quality backpack parachute (it's actually SL-competition capable) provided.

Hard to find a bad view of the Tower in Paris.
Then I went to San Francisco, home of the famous Golden Gate Bridge (SLurl). Like Paris above, there is more than one 'Frisco and bridge in SL and again like Paris, this one is mighty impressive because it is a multi-region, highly-detailed re-creation including such familiar sights as Golden Gate Park, the Castro, Fisherman's Wharf, and the infamous Alcatraz. Someone has spent an awful lot of money and time on this build and its accuracy. For some reason, though, I found the Monitor, a US Civil War era iron clad ship in the bay. I'm not sure if there is one there IRL, but it makes for a nice picture here.

Sunset on the Golden Gate Bridge from the deck of the Monitor
Another beautiful place that I've explored before is in the official recommendations: La Perla II, and old Italy homage (SLurl). There always seems to be someone dancing when I visit or wandering around one of the many shops in the labyrinth of alleys that make up this townscape. And it is refreshing to see a shopping area with near 100% occupancy. The goods are primarily geared toward men, which is also refreshing, though you will find little cafes, a souvenir shop, and stalls that are simply for enhnancing the atmosphere. Exploration here is fun as the short sightlines makes the region feel much bigger even when a fair chunk is set aside for private use.

An island town in La Pearla II in the bay just off the a larger town
F R O S T in Alirium (SLurl) seems to be one of those gorgeously landscaped regions laid out as a showcase for the products of a small store that takes time to find. I could be wrong, but I wandered for a while without finding the shop and when I did, the wonderful landscape items I enjoyed during the journey were all there. I like this approach to retail, though I have no idea how anyone can afford to do it ... a whole region depending on the income from just a few items? Amazing. Especially as the items seem to be so inexpensive for the quality. However, this is a bit misleading. When you land in the well-textured wooden shack there is a Teleport to Ground option that if you ignore you can wander the winter-scape in the next picture, but if you follow the teleport (to SLurl) you are surrounded by giant bunnies atop a humungous tree trunk. Follow the butterflies down the well then head down through a trap door for access to another landscaping shop, again with value-priced goods, and a doorway to a fabulous spring-scape at ground level (2nd picture next). My pixy alts are going to love this place.

Winter in the Sky at Alirium

Spring at Ground Level in Alirium
Next entry, hopefully tomorow, will be the other five on the official recommendation list. if you can't wait, check out the post here, but I'm going to spend some quality time in these regions for the rest of today.

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