January 15, 2007

Are We There Yet?

By 1930, a mere 22 years after the Model T made its first commercial appearance, nearly 27 million cars were carrying tourists along highways and by-ways in the United States alone. Not about to miss an opportunity, roadside businesses began to compete for the attention (and cash) of passing motorists. What better way to catch a tourists' eye than a seafood restaurant shaped like a fish, a gas station with a giant shell facade or an enormous ball of paint? This sort of advertising (highly visual and often comical) created a colorful and unique roadside culture during the 1920s and 1930s.

When Pontiac opened Motorati Island, an estate devoted to "car culture," residents were invited to submit proposals for builds that would add character and interest to the sims. Osprey Therian, one of the SL art world's most notable personalities, elected to bring the outlandish charm of the Roadside Attraction to Second Life. With her typical flair and humor, Osprey created reproductions of a series of RL builds to adorn the hills of Motorati.

Stop by the Vista Gift Mart first thing to pick up your complementary map with the locations of the attractions marked. You'll want to drop into the gift shop again on your way home to acquire souvenir postcards, tea pots, snow globes and other items to commemorate your visit. Be sure to take your camera, these are photo opportunities like you have never seen before!

the vista gift mart

Commemorative Plates are the perfect gift for the avatar who has everything.

Each attraction is accompanied by a sign with the details of the RL work.

giant ball of twine

The real Giant Ball of Twine weighs 1,182 pounds!

drive through tree

One way please!

enormous potato

This potato is built to scale!

Osprey commented in an interview with Mororati Life, that it was the "absurdity, the playfulness, of these objects" that motivated her to recreate the folk art icons. She goes on to say that a "40 foot banana or a 60 foot Paul Bunyan can brighten my day in RL or SL...There’s something sweet and fun about these roadside attractions that is worth loading into my time machine and dragging into SL - we need more fun in Second Life (as well as in First Life)."

giant carved bear

What could possibly be more fun than an 800 foot bear?

Vista Gift Mart, Motorati (207, 77, 23)
Nyloid Camera, Nylon Outfitters, Tableau (168, 185, 23)
Giant Ball of Twine, Velocity (219, 16, 38)
Drive Through Tree, Drive In (124, 68, 31)
Giant Baked Potato, Drive In (58, 63, 31)
Chain-saw Carving Bear, Velocity (198, 11, 40)

For more about Pontiac's Mororati Island, visit the official blog.
For more about roadside tourist attractions in RL North America, visit Roadside America.
Osprey Therian's works (giant potato and time machine excluded) are available in-world in Bodega Hills. Check her picks for more information!


Blogger Vivian said...

Heh - well, I have to admit I made up the signs and while loosely based on real things, these are not specifically based on anything except my sense of humor. Had you going, there :D Don't forget Dr Brainfreez Ice Cream, Fresh-Squeezed Juice, the Roadside Dinosaurs, and my favorite, The Pencil Tree!

Blogger Ida said...

That's right folks, there are eight Roadside Attractions in Motorati! That's EIGHT times the fun of a 800 foot bear that was carved with a chainsaw! That's a lot of fun.

PS You really did have me going there with the signs. Are you saying that there really wasn't a baked potato with 200 pounds of butter? That breaks my heart. :D

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I drove in this area and visited many of the attractions, including the drive-through tree. I had some trouble making the tight turn after I left the tree, but luckily, there was no one coming ... turns out I was going the WRONG WAY in a ONE WAY TREE!!!!!

Blogger Ida said...

Edward, I can understand your confusion: Who would ever expect a tree to be one way? I am happy that you avoided calamity!


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