We are almost done with the renovations of the five-island Shengri La complex in Second Life. We’ve created a central waterway that starts in Hope and sweeps through Shengri La into Joy, where it opens up into a deep, wide bay protected by Mt. Joy. Love is still largely marine but Peace has become largely montaine. The best way to view Shengri La is with one of the automated boat tours, one of which departs the Small Gallery in Shengri La, the other of which departs from Hope.
If you prefer to walk the sims, start at our Welcome Area, where we still maintain our Departure line of Ruth to Ruthless new avatar kits. Walk over the Bridge of Dreams and set your environment to sunset. The view is stunning. Look over the edge at the gargoyles and watch carefully for a bat!
In the above picture, you can see the monument to one of our collaborator’s cat, Edison, which passed away earlier in the year. Send off a firework in Edison’s honor. We like cats on Shengri La, as you will see from the lions, tigers and just plain house cats you’ll meet in Shengri La.
Visitors can still sail or boat all around the complex with either their own vehicles, or they can use one of the open source swan-shaped boats (romantical!) or a paddle boat from the rezzer in Hope. There are interesting things tucked away in the ruins and wrecks under water, perfect for any sort of aquatic visitors. We also have quite a few marine animals, ranging from sharks to whales and all sorts of fishes. Scuba divers and mer people alike will enjoy exploring the underwater landscape.
On the terrain, there are trails that run all around the edges of four of the sims, where people can ride their horses. We’re still waiting for the open source horses that visitors can ride (if they can catch them!) Most of the horses live on Love and Joy.
Shengri La itself hosts a regular Saturday marketplace where new designers can showcase their products. Anyone is welcome to show up, and place up to 20 prims of their product (NO! scripted vendors, at all, period, paragraph, end of story) in one of the twenty tents provided. Obviously, space is limited, and we require that there be no adult content. There’s no charge, and the marketplace is open from 9 am to 5 pm SLT. At 5:15, prims get returned if you don’t.
Visitors can also view Pumpkin Tripsa’s amazing gargoyle sculptures, as well as purchasing them directly from the gargoyles on the boardwalk. While on the boardwalk, feed the swans or the koi – the koi are particularly amusing as they positively mob the fish food. There is also a cutting garden located in the large golden glass house. The rose bushes are available to purchase for $OL.
Birders will find the renovated Shengri La a delight. There are 20 varieties of birds and 3 varieties of bat swooping around Shengri La. The ducks may be fed, as can both the black and mute swans. Just watch for the small wooden feeding boxes. There are also a wide range of insects, including dragon flies and a large range of butterfly species.
The Ruined Zoo offers some interesting surprises. Given the infestation of rats in the Zoo, it’s no surprise that Shengri La is a cat’s paradise. Look for the sleeping cats and the free-roaming ones.
Visit the galleries in Shengri La – we feature the artwork of Callipygian Christensen in the main gallery, and we have rotating exhibits in the Small Gallery.
We still have the flagship store for Silver Rose Designs in Shengri La. Stop by the keep and check out Yuri’s designs.
Of course, we also have the corporate offices of the Fashion Research Institute located in Peace, in the Palace Queen Pea.
Shengri La is our replacement for a standard web site, our corporate pitch deck, and the space we maintain to support our training program directed at apparel industry personnel, fashion design educators, fashion design students, and fashion designers.
In looking at Shengri La as a web site replacement, my experience is that any company that is presenting itself as virtual world savvy needs to have a strong entry to showcase their skills. As a corporate pitch deck, our islands are far stronger than any web site. People love stories, and they respond to stories. A virtual world corporate pitch deck enables the telling of a company’s story in the rich, immersive context of a 3-dimensional space.
And Shengri La, despite not even having been relaunched yet, captures a pretty reasonable traffic number with an amazing degree of stickiness. That’s not bad for a complex that exists primarily as a training site. Please feel free to visit us in Shengri La. Bring your horses, go for a ride. Surf the waters, sail, swim, or just meditate amongst the many peaceful resting places, and enjoy the sunrises or sunsets. We look forward to your visit.