By Grey Lupindo
Tucked away on Nantucket Island is a build depicting the movie set of “Casablanca,” one of the most romantic movies ever made. Go to Pelican Point at Nantucket, Nantucket Island (126, 112, 2011) to check it out. SL Casablanca was created by Sommer Shepherd, who owns the sim, and TracyLynn Carpenter.
I chatted with Sommer Shepherd about Casablanca, which has been here for a few months. “It started out as Rick’s Cafe Ameracain,” she said, “as a venue for a friend’s Engagement party. ....kind of grew to what you see... all before the party!” Sommer said the site has received a lot of attention, which she said is very flattering. It is currently one of the Editor’s Picks in the Destination Guide, which is how I found it.
You can view this site as the movie set for one of Bogart’s best films. There are tents, director chairs, movie cameras and other items behind the buildings. Only the flags have been altered to reflect a less menacing, hateful world. This alteration is much appreciated and more appropriate for SL in this reporter’s opinion. But my favorite way to experience Casablanca is to go as a time traveler visiting Morocco circa 1940. The U.S. has not yet entered World War II, and Rick’s Cafe is run by an ex-pat trying to escape the chaos of the world and his private life.
As you enter Casablanca you see vintage cars lining the streets and palm trees swaying in the desert breeze. Rick’s Cafe is lavishly decorated with potted palms, bead curtains, and a lively bar scene. There are lots of rooms to explore and a fine restaurant to enjoy. There are game tables, too, but I didn’t come to gamble. I came to find Rick and, if I was lucky, priceless letters of transit.
I started in the bar, which is well stocked and filled with interesting characters. The famous piano is here, too. I didn’t see Louis Armstrong while I was visiting, but Sommer gave me a vintage radio that has him playing “As Time Goes By”. A perfect souvenir of Casablanca.
Upstairs has more places to explore. Rick’s office has a number of surprises you won’t want to miss. Although I didn’t find Rick there, I did find someone else who was searching for letters. The view from the upstairs balcony is wonderfully detailed. You can almost smell the camels. There are also a few private alcoves here where you could meet a friend and enjoy a drink. I recommend the cognac. Rick has a great vintage that you can help yourself to upstairs.
Of course no depiction of Casablanca would be complete without the airport. Outside the walls of the city the plane is waiting, ready to take off as soon as its important passengers board.
Casablanca is one of those places you can visit quickly or linger at with a friend. Even if you aren’t familiar with the movie, you can enjoy the site’s creativity and beauty. If you know and love the movie as much as I do, you’ll love the world that Sommer Shepherd and TracyLynn Carpenter have created.