Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas Shopping Markets

By Gemma Cleanslate

At this time of year it seems a bit early for Christmas however as we know from real life it is the time to get ready. Every place you go there is Christmas decor and gift suggestions. It makes us realize we had better get going! In sl there is are wonderful shopping opportunities from sim fillers to stocking stuffers. I picked out a few shopping venues where I thought you might like to visit . They are not only just for shopping, but for enjoying the sights and the builds . Meander around after you see the shops.

The first delightful market place is Christmas Fair at Harborview. At the landing place you are near the larger indoor stores. Lots of favorite creators have wares here. Kiosks with all kinds of Christmas delights fill the town squares, decor for the home, gifts , outfits for the season and more. Lovely Victorian ladies are shopping too. 
I found an ugly sweater I could not resist! I spied some lucky letters around the walkways. You can shop and also skate if you like. Great place for a photo with Santa!   
My next visit was to Mrs Santa Christmas Market, another charming venue in Kikai. Again large shops line the sidewalks with smaller kiosks and stalls still being filled with goodies. Merchants were working as I toured.  I found some nice personalize-able greeting cards in one shop that I loved. Here too you can shop and skate. Be sure to drop into the little chapel for a rest and a reminder of what the season is about.
http://maps.secondlife com/secondlife/Kikai/176/115/601
My third stop  was Christmas at the North Pole in Checkmate. If you are looking for new Christmas trees do not miss the selection in the tree area. What a selection of diverse trees! You will have to TP to sky lot so watch for the signs. On the main level  be sure you stop in the busy post office where I found Santa next to a huge pile of letter arriving by the second! Stores and outdoor shopping for all sorts of decor for your home inside or out is found here, including choo-choo trains, reindeer and a myriad of decor. I saw a whole forest of snow laden pines if you need that on your sim.
There are so many more places in Second Life to visit for Christmas decor. I am also looking at the wonderful skating and hanging out winter sports regions for your winter fun. I am starting with the markets so you can get your shopping done and then just go enjoy the sims . Some of them will disappear right after Christmas so I want to start with them. After that I will tell you about the ones where sports and skating and events going on before and after Christmas and you can enjoy the winter season in Second Life while through the first months of the new year. If you find anything new and interesting let me know! 
Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, November 21, 2016

Paradise Eiland

By Becky "Sha" Shamen

Ever since I wrote about Creations for Parkinson's, I have been attending their Sunday night angel's dance. Several friends, including some of the other Newser Reporters, also make frequent trips to Creations. I have also made many new friends there. Last Sunday, Maia Antarra asked me if I would be interested in writing about the coming opening of a new healing center which she was involved with. This new center, "Paradise Eiland Retreat and Event Center" uses non-medical, New Age therapies, like Reiki, Tai Chi, meditation and sound to restore balance and health.

I found this topic very interesting, for two reasons. I have been looking into the idea that Second Life can provide real life therapy. Add to this, in the last few months I have developed a problem with poor circulation and pain in my feet and legs. I have very little faith in medical doctors and have been trying to book an appointment in a real-life healing center, like the one Maia was describing in SL. I was given a LM and told to contact the owner, Rod Eiland. When our Sunday event ended, I headed for Paradise. In addition to reporting on it, I was hoping to offer myself as proof that these virtual reality techniques do, in fact, work.

The landing put me right in front of the healing center. While waiting for things to rez, I noticed and enjoyed the soothing music stream. The peace was enhanced as natural scenery and classic Greek architecture came into view.

Entering the healing building, I found a group prayer/invocation animation and some massage tables, with animation balls for the healers to use. The walls were decorated with iconography from various world religions. From experience, I knew that healing requires the patient to believe in the effectiveness of the treatment. I could tell that this environment would be very believable, for most people. I went back outside to explore more of the center and spotted Rod Eiland was on the West end of the sim with another member of the healing staff. I found them dancing on a beautiful glass dance floor. Introducing myself, I learned that they had already been told to expect me. The three of us talked, until Rod's assistant had to log off. Rod then offered to give me a private tour. The center occupies the Southern half of the Sugar Valley sim
Our first stop was the Tai Chi area, on the North side of the dance floor. Rod explained that his specialty was sound healing, using brass bowls and gongs and he offered a free session. He said it would work best if I wore headphones, so I dimmed my lights, lit a candle and put my headset on. I could feel the sound vibrating, all the way down to my solar plexus and, for the first time in weeks, was not having any shooting pains from my left foot.

I made an appointment to return the following night for a full treatment. Our timing was off, so I missed the scheduled time and spent time getting more details of the upcoming grand opening.

The center will open on November 26, with opening ceremony beginning at 1pm SLT, with the release of a flock of eagles. Technically speaking, I can't tell you that these healing techniques will cure anything. I can say that, based on experience in SL and RL, there is great potential for real healing here. These things also take time, so don't expect any instant miracle cures on your first visit. I'm going to keep my walking cane handy, until I've been to a few more sessions.

At this point of the story, I would normally be telling readers to come have a great adventure. What I will say is, if you or a friend have been feeling your light has dimmed, you owe it to yourself to explore Paradise Eiland and see if they can turn up the light and get you in the pink.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Seduction Estates

By Becky "Sha" Shamen

While scanning the World Map for interesting, unusual sim groups, we came across this cluster of 30 sims. The individual sims were laid out in such a way as to allow one to travel to all points in the cluster, while being spread out over a larger area of the grid than a compact grouping would cover. It was also clear that every sim also contained water areas that made it obvious that the preferred mode of transportation is by boat. We have a collection of boats, but thought it best to make a quick visit to determine what the rules are and what kind of craft would fit best in the area. Zooming in on the map, we notice that the sim which is fourth from the top and second from the right is the only one without any water of it's own and has a darker texture at the center. This seemed like a good clue that this sim might be an administration and gathering area, so it was selected as a starting point for our adventure.

 Arriving on a beach, on the West side of the sim, we open "About Land" and read up on what the area is about. The entire cluster is known as "Seduction Estates" and is dedicated to selling or renting residential properties. There are no shops or dance clubs or other public gathering spots. This region is for rich, hedonistic, clothing optional adults to have their mansions in a "Tropical Paradise", kind of like a "Beverly Hills on the sea." The rules say no child avatars are allowed, but there is no mention, for or against, of furries being permitted. We played it safe, by going as a 4' tall adult human female. To keep up with the Jones's, we decided to get an inexpensive motor yacht and found one at the Marketplace, for only $75.

We rezzed our yacht at Sunny Beach, to get a feel for how it handles. Satisfied that it would be a good craft for the adventure, we dressed in a yellow polka-dot bikini and a modesty top, to give us the rich girl, playing with "Daddy's Money" look.

We plotted a course that would begin at the Northeast sim and would take us through all thirty sims, using the public waterways. Since most of the properties have security orbs, we wanted to avoid getting sent home, so most of our exploring would be done by zooming and panning our camera.  

To aid navigation, we made good use of both the World Map and the Mini Map. Unlike most of the places that we have visited, the world map, at this location, showed all the properties that are for sale or rent in yellow. This would help us locate and price the available properties.

Although we never found any offices for administration and land sales, we did discover the only gathering spot on a hill in the center of the sim we did our first research on, Seduction Isle. This "club" has a stage, with piano, and three dance floors, we assumed for couples dances, but there was nobody there during our adventure.

 Each of the many individual properties is a small island, surrounded by rocks, waterfalls and trees, for privacy. Most have a large mansion in the center. I was impressed by several that even had the nautical equivalent of a drive way, to moor boats off the main water ways. Few of the mansions had a lived in look, so we began to think, if you've seen one cookie cutter mansion, you've seen them all.

That is, until we spotted an old, derelict sailing ship. The ship and nearby building are probably not a residence. It seemed more like a local park, the sort of place that young adults might gather, to be away from the eyes of elders, while enjoying forbidden fruits.

Speaking of being unseen, we noticed that the number of people, on all of the sims, was highest after 9p.m., but even then was only a few individuals and couples and they were mostly up in skyboxes. We had hoped to find some residents that could be zoomed in on, to check out what the natives were wearing, but they seemed to vanish, each time we were near.
Following the World Map, we tracked down the three property sizes that are offered at Seduction. All of the properties require a one time payment of L$500 plus a weekly tier payment, based on size. They each come with a house, which can be replaced with your own. Houses provided count against the prims allowed for each property. A 1/16th sim is $1550 per week, with 460 prims. 1/8th sim is $2500, 900 prims. 1/4 sims are $2900, 930 prims.
Personally, as an efficient shopper, I enjoy a higher quality home and community, for half the price, so I'm not planning on moving. In SL, we can become anything we desire. If you feel seduced by Seduction Estates, I wish you all the pleasure desired. Live there or not, we found it to be a fun adventure. We navigated through 30 sims, in a shiny new mega motor yacht and it was like a Hollywood bus tour of the homes of movie stars. Come, enjoy a tropical vacation and let your inner, petite, cuter than dimples on a bunny, rich white girl come out to play, Queen For A Day.
We already know what all the guys want,

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New Brighton

By Gemma Cleanslate

I have been spending some of my free time at a region that I was introduced to about two months ago by a friend. I can’t imagine that I missed this lovely region all  this time . I found out it has been here for 10 years.New Brighton is fashioned after the Brighton Beach area in the UK. The Pier is there looking very familiar to those who have visited the town or have seen pictures .  The homes along the streets are charming and can be rented. 

There is a theater on the pier that I visited for a dance performance by a group called The New Brighton Belles. It was very entertaining as the dancers changed their  attire to fit the decor.The Belles made interesting entrances such as in a space ship.  The very dapper owner of the sim, Bernard Herzog,   joined them for one snappy dance number. I also visited a performance on the beach . A live singer, Mimi Carpenter gave a lovely performance. There are numerous events during the week and more in the planning. 

Lately I have been roaming the entire region looking for pumpkins that I am collecting to win a contest ( I came in second).  I feel as if I know every part of the sim intimately since the pumpkins reappear again in the same place after a while and I go look for them, collecting points.

There are so many places to have fun, especially if you join the group. I rezzed a little motor bike and whizzed around, trying not to crash or be hit by falling rocks on the road down from the top of the hill. There is swimming near the pier, you can find snorkling gear on the other stone pier. Down on the beach there is a hot-air balloon. Grab a hud and take off , but don’t drift too far! Or, you can sit and relax and enjoy the view of the pier from a distance. 
The food truck has many offerings , pizza, kebob, gyro, with a beer or a coke to wash it all down. There is a little sign that warns “Fast Food is Fattening.” Take a walk down the road way after that and visit the shops . There is a great game room with fun machines, a gallery with photos of activities  on the beach area. 
There are photos of the very lovely Tower of Peace that Bernard built for Yoko Ono’s sim back in 2008. Down near the end of the shops there is the i360 gallery. There you find a  display the real life sculpture works of the owner. Right now he told me he is working on a David  Bowie head.
  There is a lot to explore from one end of the island to the other . Go visit and see! Bring your camera.
Gemma Cleanslate