May 31, 2007

Guest Writer: Ignatius Onomatopoeia

A Grand Palais. . .And Lots of Artwork
by Ignatius Onomatopoeia

In a sim named after legendary bluesman Howlin’ Wolf, I found a different type of artwork at the Grand Palais Musee de Beaux Art. Though open for just a few weeks and still in the final stages of construction, both the Parisian building and fine-arts collection are worth a visit.

During my first trip there, I met Jacon Cortes and ROTFLCAKE Box of the Grand Palais. Box, whose avatar is a cyberpunk swordfighter, is both coder and rapscallion. Cortes, dressed like either a Mongol warrior or early Ottoman sultan (either way, a very lush look) explained that the art on the walls is for sale. He created the magnificent chandeliers; I cannot imagine how many crystalline prims went into each one. . .rug vendors, guest exhibits, and a tour service add more features to the museum.

The paintings I checked were priced at 100 Lindens or less, and they are rendered nicely enough to purchase a Frida Kahlo as a gift for the ever photogenic Kyo Runo, who served as my model during a second visit. I still have to decide what to get for myself.


Kyo and I were greatly impressed by the ground floor, and the designers are adding artwork quickly to the upper floors. The paintings are displayed well and grouped by artist or collection (Louvre, for instance). It’s a cosmopolitan touch to have the floor names by the teleporters in French.

The setting of the Palais is delightful enough to make one want to dress for the occasion. Thus I changed into a tux and we did our “La Dolce Vita” dance in tandem in the fountain outside the gallery.

dancin in the fountain

Then we flew up the roof to look at the hot-air balloon. Like the Venetian gondola tied up outside, when finished it will provide a guided tour of the sim.

balloon tour

To the owners of the Palais: Bon chance, mes amis!

Grand Palais Musee de Beaux Art, Howlin Wolf (190, 114, 21)

Ida's Note:
More snapshots from Ignatius Onomatopoeia's adventure can be found here.

May 19, 2007

Time Lord Technology

In my explorations, I haven't come across much in the way of science fiction builds that are open to the public. The Star Wars sims in particular are spectacular and immersive, but I am reluctant to recommend them as "sites of interest" because they are venues for role-playing. Nothing ruins a good firefight like a contingent of OOC tourists wandering about taking snapshots of the scenery.

Luckily, I happened to run across Marcus Prospero's TARDIS.

in the vacant lot

The missing "police box" sign is inside.

Naturally, since it is made with Time Lord Technology, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside.

engine room

I've always wondered what was at the bottom of these things...

With three levels and furnishings that are both lovely and interesting, there is plenty to look at and click.


Time Lords do lots of research.

the controls

Like all good Time Machines, the console has plenty of levers and knobs.

Considering that I have no Advanced Knowledge of the inner workings and the physics of the universe, my inability to make the thing go no matter what combination of levers and wheels I used is only to be expected.

Several of the control panels will teleport you to other locations! Don't worry, the Tardis follows you so you won't be lost forever.

Marcus Prospero's TARDIS, Lippert (153, 108, 171)

May 12, 2007


What appears at first to be a small, empty, Protected Land parcel is actually an underwater garden.

on the beach

coral and stuff

The land, coral reefs, rocks and plants are owned by the Governor, but Eric Linden is responsible for the creation of the objects. It is a tranquil spot.

The Cave Rua Water Gardens are another wonderful place to practice your scuba skills. More extensive than the Linden build, the Water Gardens are also a showcase for jemma Flora's underwater landscaping products. The merchandising technique is subtle, intentionally leaving the area lovely place to explore.


The cave system that is open for exploration is just as beautiful as the underwater portion of the build. There is also a tour hud available if you aren't the "stumble around looking for cool things" type.


While you don't need scuba gear to breath underwater (part of the Magic of SL), the reasonably priced sets at Hinkley Engineering are a fun enhancement to exploration. Especially with the underwater breathing and splashing sound effects.

Underwater Reef, Vari (149, 51, 21)
Cave Rua Welcome Area, Rua (87, 137, 29)
Scuba Gear, Hinkley Engineering, Myrtle (4, 23, 47)

May 07, 2007


It's the last thing I expected to see in Second Life.


An International House of Pancakes.

the ihop building

I'm not kidding.

Ida eats pancakes

Tony Tigereye is responsible for this singular build.

IHOP, Meola (187, 101, 28)

May 06, 2007

Forget it, Jake.

While the new sim of Downtown plays host to a variety of shops that cater to a variety of tastes, the whole sim is a brilliant and detailed build (almost overwhelmingly so) with layers of depth and interest. What really caught my eye was Chinatown.


It's a pocket of brightness in the dark and drab city. There are a few retail shops along the street, as well as a seedy, deserted hotel that also appears to be a crime scene.


And, of course, takeout!

take out!

You can pick up the metro at the Chinatown station.


If you fall off the platform (which I completely encourage), take time to thoroughly explore the tunnels, off-shoots and doors that lead to strange places. It's dark and complex down there - you may want to pick up a Top Hat With Light and pack a lunch before setting off. The trains actually run (I didn't know this until I had an Unfortunate Accident), so keep an eye out and don't touch the rail.

Telehub, Downtown (124, 92, 101)
Chinatown, Downtown (120, 45, 101)
Chinatown Metro Station, Downtown (49, 40, 101)
I.J. Ginsburg Hat w/Light, Steelhead (56, 87, 28)

Downtown has a forced landing spot, so follow the red arrows to find the locations above. The complexity of the sim does make it difficult to find specific places. I did not notice a directory or a map. The upside is, as long as you aren't in a hurry, there is plenty to see and enjoy.