Saturday, April 19, 2014

Willkommen! – Part III Back to 1920’s Berlin in Second Life

 Ich bin ein Berliner!

John F. Kennedy

          In all my wanderings in Second Life (SL), I’m very bad about going back to places that I visited earlier and blogged about.  Sometimes, a place closes before I can get back or have a chance to enjoy it like Utopia recently did.
          One sim in particular, I visited very early in my blogging career and wrote about again is 1920’s Berlin.  The sim dedicated to authentically replicating Weimar Germany. 
          But, that was over two years ago.
          Yes, I’ve probably stayed in touch more with this sim’s residents than with most others.  I interviewed Frau Jo Yardley, the creator and force of nature behind just about everything in the sim, for the above story.  A subsequent interview was with Mila Edelman, the retro fashion designer who does such wonderful work in Berlin. 
          I’ve also did a few quick visits but not much else.  I didn’t walk about like I once did.  (And it’s not because the police were looking for me!)  I’ve made several good friends.  (At least I think they’re friends.  They may just be tolerating me to see what foolishness I get up to next.)  But, I haven’t really strolled the streets of Berlin.  (Significant Other asks if anyone is requesting that I do such.) 
          I’ve heard of changes in 1920’s Berlin so I decided to go back and look around on the ground.
          I arrive at the landing zone and take the familiar train ride into Berlin.  I notice that there are more warnings about being properly attired when visiting.  I’d seen communications from Frau Jo for a while about people not wearing period costume when visiting and I guess this is in reaction.  Sadly, the price of success may be more uninformed or uncaring guests.
          Upon detraining at the other end and going downstairs to exit the station, I go outside and feel like I’m coming home.  Everything looks familiar except for the new street car which I don’t think was here on my earlier visits.
          The streets are empty and some litter lies in them.  Like the period posters on the wall, all these details lend a feeling of authenticity.  The early hour of my arrival may be why not many are about.  I don’t see any of my friends listed in the Nearby directory.  (No, it’s not because they’re trying to avoid me!  I didn’t tell them I was coming so they couldn’t be away.  Significant Other taught me this trick.  I meet way more family and friends in Real Life (RL) than I used to.)
          But, as in any large city, I catch glimpses of people moving in the distance and do wonder what they’re up to.
          Walking along the streets (I don’t know which one, I always get lost in Berlin and depend on friends to TP me along my way.) and stop in front of the Café Electrik where I once spent a pleasant evening engaging in a discussion with a group of Berliners.  Now, it sits empty.  A few friends and a few cups of coffee would make for a nice picture.
          I cross the street to Hotel Adlon which has undergone some renovations since I first saw it.  The lobby is impressive with the main staircase leading to the upstairs rooms.  The dining room on the ground floor looks like it can offer some sumptuous dining.  Of course, as an itinerant and struggling writer inworld, I’ll just have to settle for the coffee shops.  (You can tell the sim’s deserted, normally, I wouldn’t even be allowed through the front door of a place like this.  I had a similar problem in RL until I started hanging around with Significant Other.)
          On the same street is the recently renovated Babylon movie theater which regularly shows period films.  The building’s interior has a comfortable screening room.
          Walking down through the Brandenburg Gate, I enter the Tiergarten and wander through the park admiring the trees and flowers.  A few expensive looking homes are discreetly back in the woods.  (Someone’s doing well here!)
          From here, I stumble onto the train tracks and manage to get run over a few times along the way.  (Sorry about the blood stains, Frau Jo, I’ll clean them up on my next trip through.) But, I have always wanted to know where these tracks run and now I know.  The tracks run through an industrial and working class neighborhood.  Knowing Frau Jo’s attention to detail and desire for authenticity, she probably researched old photographs for the effect which is very realistic.
          Reaching the train station again, I climb up onto the tracks (Significant Other comments is it any wonder that people avoid me.) and return home to Nowaki.
          I enjoyed my walk through 1920’s Berlin.  Unlike many other sims inworld, there is a serious effort to ensure period accuracy in all the buildings and features.  Even down to the lone policeman pounding his beat.  (Whom I avoided BTW.  Some small misunderstanding about being a political undesirable.)
          I strongly encourage all to visit 1920’s Berlin.  It’s worth the time and the community that resides there are a wonderful dedicated to reenacting this brief period of RL that existed before the madness fell over the Continent.
          Please wear period costume when visiting and remember that residents are typically in character.  Free costumes are available at the arrival area and Mila offers attractive women’s clothing at reasonable prices for those wishing to be a bit better appointed.
          I’d like to thank Frau Jo Yardley and everyone at 1920’s Berlin for all their hard work and the hospitality they show visitors to their community!
          Have a great time and tell ‘em web sent you!  (Unless of course, you meet the policeman, in which case I wouldn’t if I were you.)
          I’ve included links to pictures of stroll below but these don’t do Berlin any justice.  Go and see for yourselves.  You’ll be glad you did! 
My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.    
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.


Photo No. 1 Streetcar

Photo No. 2 Café Electrika

Photo No. 4 Hotel Adlon – Lobby

Photo No. 8 Tiergarten

Photo No. 9 Park Scene

Photo No. 10 Local Ride

Photo No. 11 Train Tracks

Photo No. 12 Bend in the Tracks

Photo No. 13 Main Train Station

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