Sunday, November 25, 2012

In A New York Minute

Elspeth Humphreys' real life New York City trip, exclusively for OI Magazine,
interviewed by Sita Writer.
Pictures provided by Elspeth Humphreys. 

New York – the city that never sleeps – where everything changes and yet nothing does. You can never catch a cab in the rain but you can always get a good bagel with schmear! In the maze of Manhattan restaurants come and go in the blink of an eye, and neighborhoods are revitalized from rustic to high- end sanctuaries for high-heeled fashionistas. Vibrant with a cast of characters – visitors and residents, and a variety of superlative dining experiences, neighborhoods and attractions New York City is like no other city in the world. Locals call it “the city” because there is no other city that quite measures up to the New York experience

Fast paced, offering an opportunity for a new life, stylish, and glitzy with a dash of East Coast pragmatism or is that cynicism “the city” attracts people from all walks of life.

Elspeth Humphreys, the name of her avatar in SL, just returned from her first visit to New York City in real life back in September of 2012.

Fashion in a NYC store captured on Els' camera lens

 “Fashion drew me to New York City initially. I am from a fashion capital of the world and I have grown up with a passion for couture. I thought it would be amazing to visit and experience what another fashion forward capital had to offer and was interested to see what the fashion trends were".

Elspeth was not disappointed or surprised in her initial New York reception. “ To be honest I had been told that New Yorkers where rather rude and upfront so I was expecting that; and in fact, I got that ha-ha. I love the raw blunt edge of New Yorkers, there is no messing around and you always know where you stand,” Elspeth tells OI

Els' camera lens captures Anthony Hamilton singing

Of Elspeth’s most memorable experiences she recalls the Anthony Hamilton concert at the Beacon Theatre and watching an Alicia Keys interview at The Y center. “ The food, ITS CRAZY, and overwhelmed me and the people of New York where a breath of fresh air compared to what I am used to; adding the men are-- well, Gorgeous!” 

Els also enjoyed The Whitney Museum and in particular The Yayoi Kasuma exhibition, which is, breathtaking. 

The Manhattan skyline ,taken by Ms Humphreys
Second skyline picture, beautifully done

 She also admired the famous Manhattan skyline, Central Park and the ubiquitous yellow cabs!! A special treat for Elspeth was hooking up with some of her SL friends in RL.

NYC more than met Els’ expectations, “I felt like I was on one big film set every day. I really enjoyed the culture of the city the vibe was fantastic. The one thing I didn’t like was that I had a hard time getting directions when I was lost.”

Els' breathtaking views of the city from Top of the Rock

Elspeth stayed on the elegant Upper East Side, one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city between Central Park and the East River. The Upper East Side is located close to the Museum Mile and restaurant row on Second Ave. between east 79 and 76th Streets

Els didn’t do a lot of touristy attractions, as she was interested in exploring and experiencing the culture of the city. “The few touristy things I did do and that I enjoyed included the Top of the Rock because of the view, the Empire State Building because she stands so regally watching over her city and Time Square – it is completely over the top and overloads ones senses.”

Watch where you walk 'cause the sidewalks talk, uhm Crosswalk in this case
Els' photography of Ripley's Believe or Not, Famous Dave & Buster's

Some random New York minute shots from Els

Her pic of the East River

Els posing for a picture of herself in NYC (Uhm, she's QUITE attractive, wouldn't you agree?)

Els hopes to return to “the city” next year. “ Unlike other vacations I have taken, New York felt oddly like home even though I knew it wasn’t-- I felt like I just slotted into place.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Working Hard To Stay Broke

by DavidHawk Actor

If you've ever been so excited to get your paycheck, just to watch it go all away within minutes to all your bills, then you know exactly how I feel. Each and every week, I work forty hours to waste my days. Then, every other week, I get a paycheck that within a couple days is completely gone and I feel privileged if I got to swing through a drive thru for some dinner.
image from royalty free
Rent, groceries, power, water, sewage, trash, kids and the list goes on and on. It seems like every week I'm falling further and further behind

Rent in any specific area is defined as cost of living. Basically, New York , NY is going to be more expensive than Boise , ID. When cost of living is higher, that means minimum wage has to go up to match. This is good and bad news. First, you make more money. But in the end, that goes directly to rent. Now the con side is when the cost of living is higher, stores raise the prices of goods and services we want.
What this does is creates a void. Basically, you get $10.00 an hour and due to the cost of all your bills, it makes it to where there is no surplus of your paycheck. This creates a problem where just to survive you have to roommates or if you're married, you have to have both people working to be able to afford to not live with your parents. 

Just thirty to forty years ago, a family of five could survive on the income of only one parent. For added savings the other parent would get a job. Once the community realized that two parents were working, it all went to hell. All of the sudden, everyone knew that a family had more money and they decided they wanted it. So the prices went up. Gas for the car went up because now that you have two people driving possibly two cars, they realized you don't have a choice but use gas more.
This greed has corrupted our entire economy. Think back to when you were a kid. In most cases, we had two parents working and even with that, our homes probably only cost around $30,000. Now look at that same home and its a quarter million if not more. What is going on with this system? When did everyone decide to bleed eachother? And unfortunately its a never ending cycle. The owner of a specific company has to pay the employees more and now ups the price of their goods or services to maintain their percentage of profit. And on and on without end through all the companies and services. Another thing pushing this problem is the debt the United States has, causing our dollar to become worth less and less so anything we import is more expensive to us.

Unfortunately, there isn't going to be any vast economic change bringing the prices of things down anytime soon. Contractors will still want $100,000 to build the home so the owners will still have to sell it at $250,000 just to make a profit. Same with cars and even cereal. So the next time you wonder if you deserve a raise, the quick answer is to say "yes, you do". But if you get a raise, then the other services in the area will notice and want more of that money, jacking up their prices. 

That's my view on how hard we all work just to stay broke. If you agree, like this article and share it with others. If you don't, comment down below. And remember, I love your avatars and I'll see you next time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Visiting the Gardens of Absentia

Article by DavidHawk Actor
Pictures provided by Ipunin Pera, Carmichael Caudron & OI Magazine photographer Sita Writer

When I arrived at the Gardens of Absentia, I was immediately surrounded by one of the lush settings I've seen in Second Life™.  With the greeting area at the landing point and a donation box just down the stone path, it's easy to see why they are here.

The Gardens of Absentia is an area dedicated to the awareness and charity funding cancer research.  It was founded by Ipunin Pera and Filo Tani, both of whom are open and welcoming to everyone who visits.  They started the area because everyone knows someone who has dealt with cancer or they, personally, have dealt with it.  Ipunin said it doesn't matter if they're fighting the fight, supporting friends and family or simply in memorial, the Gardens is a place where people can come and have a positive experience like lighting candles for their loved ones.

one of the centers with ribbons supplied with information about the type of cancer and a donation box to those who wish to donate for the causes (breast cancer ribbon info center pictured here)

the leukemia ribbon info center

Pancreatic ribbon center (and then there are stomach,colon,ovarian and lung cancer ribbons as well in the sim)

One thing I found very cool as soon as I arrived was a serene waterfall and in the pool were water lanterns.  Each a varied shade of pink and purple, left by visitors with little prayers and blessings.  Walking away from the waterfall, the Gardens are proudly showing a wide variety of cancer ribbons.  Clicking on the little shrine below each ribbon gives the visitor an overview of the cancer its designated for as well as symptoms, treatment and even a notecard for more information.  Ipunin told me that her favorite is the Pancreatic Cancer area, it was an area she holds very near her heart because her father passed away from that disease over two years ago.  There, she placed a statue of a father and daughter as well as a picture of her father and herself.  

Statue dedicated to pancreatic cancer to Ipunin's real life father

The sim is a homestead that dedicated approximately 50% of its area to cancer awareness.  Every month, the Garden hosts an event where the flying of paper lanterns happens.Other than that, there are no specific events that happen on the sim because of the limited space and prims.  The Gardens has been around for four years now and even the music playing through the stream is selected by Filo and Ipunin for the guests that stop by. 

The Gardens are have two different types of donation boxes.  One that helps offset the cost of the sim and one that goes to funding Ipunin's Breast Cancer Walk, which they wait til right before the walk to transfer the L$ into RL money due to the fees Linden Lab™ and PayPal™ charge.  There is also a website if anyone wants to donate directly to the funds.

Ipunin in her giveaway outfit dedicated to Breast Cancer awareness

Over the past four years, the Gardens has helped raise approximately $L 2,000,000 with the help of talented artists and performers in SL.  If you have the itch to assist in the fight against Cancer, please contact Ipunin Pera or Filo Tani.  The Gardens does enjoy working with others to hold events, including a large event in 2010 with Costa Rica Sims™, Mad Designs™ and BOSL™.  They have helped all sorts of events like date auctions, concerts and designer showcases. 

The Gardens of Absentia group is an open group, anyone can join but it isn't currently linked to any cancer awareness groups in RL.  Most of their direct efforts are towards the Susan G. Komen 60 miles walk in 3-Days charity™ and they want to hold walks every June and October

The sim succeeds with donations from caring individuals like you, who realize that cancer affects everyone.  Either you personally will have it or someone close to you will deal with it.

Remember, if you want to help out in anyway, contact Ipunin Pera or Filo Tani.  And if you've got any interest in learning more about the various types of cancer or perhaps to light a candle for someone currently fighting or perhaps in memorial, go to and put your love out there.  

There is no such thing as caring too much or praying too hard.  Every little bit helps and everyone is a part of that.

Additional pictures of areas on the sim

Fantasy gardens section

The lighthouse

Pool of Hope and the statue dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness and survivors

Lastly, the Tiki relaxation area


Thursday, November 1, 2012

An American in the UK - Guernsey

Syrah Evans
(all camera pictures are property of Syrah Evans)

Earlier this year, I decided it was high time for this US citizen to do some more traveling. And why not travel to the UK?  The first in this series was travel to Scotland.  A lovely land and people. But, with only a few weeks to travel and wanting to visit as much as possible, I was off in the opposite direction in and actually just outside of the UK.  In this part two of a series, I went to visit Guernsey Island.
Known as the Bailiwick of Guernsey, this fine island is filled with interesting history, people and places.  Despite a common belief, the Bailiwick of Guernsey is not a part of the UK nor is it a part of the European Union.  However, it is part of the Common Travel Area of the UK making for convenient travel.  English is the common language used but they do have their own language of D'gernésiais.  Nearly lost, their language is becoming more popular and is again taught in the local schools.  Historically, the island of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands are some of the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy.
It seems a curious location for an island, just 26 miles from France.

However, it is thought at the end of the last ice age, the sea levels rose and changed Guernsey from being the tip of a French peninsula in the English Channel into an island.  Whatever the cause, nature has created a most wonderful and diverse coastline.

Along the coast of the island are many miles of walking and hiking trails.  Depending upon which part of the island you are on, you might see dramatic cliffs with a sparkling blue sea  or a long, curving beach  or even dramatic rocky shore.  While seemingly remote, you are never far from anything you may need.

The island is not large.  Just 50 square miles in size but what a wonderful place!  The air is fresh, there are farms and greenhouses in many places.  Some farms raise the famed Guernsey cows.
As my visit was in Summer, there were many roadside stands with tomatoes, flowers, all kinds of things for sale, each with a simple collection box for you to place money should you wish to buy. How wonderful and polite a place.  Even the roads have few stop signs.  Instead, the intersection instructs you to "Filter" or take turns and this is precisely what the people of Guernsey do.

Food of all types is available.  Pubs are a delightful place to sample some local fare and, of course, local ale.  The people of Guernsey are welcoming, fun, quite resourceful and they love their island. But others have wanted their island too.  
During the Napoleonic wars, forts and watchtowers were built and positioned such that any approaching enemy could likely be seen by two towers and caught in a crossfire.  During World War II, the Germans occupied Guernsey island building upon some existing structures as well as creating new sites.  Many of these are still present all over the island.
With regular air and ferry service to England, it's easy to go and see this wonderful island.  If it's only the polite but impersonal hubbub of London you seek, this might not be your first choice of destination.  But for those willing to accept Guernsey on its own terms, it's a land filled with history, lovely people and unsurpassed beauty.  I'll be back!

Thank you for reading my real life article traveling to the island of Guernsey, my name is Syrah Evans, reporting for OI Magazine.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Loving the Breasts

by DavidHawk Actor

 (Photo taken from

For those of you who don't know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It's a time where real men wear pink. I am a guy, and as such, I don't know much about breast cancer. I understand the concept, however. A woman develops a disease that affects their breasts. Luckily, they didn't bury the lead; they put it right out front. Breast Cancer. 

I want to start this article in complete ignorance. There are things I've heard, but this opinion has no research behind it. After I’ll put my thoughts to this writing though, I'll do a little fact checking. The amount depends on my laziness. 

So let’s put everything I know about cancer into one sentence. Cancer affects everyone. It really is that simple. We all know someone who has fought through a type of cancer, or chances are, we, ourselves, will have to fight it. 

Now that I've told you what I know, it’s time to bust into my opinions on breasts. First, as a man, I am really a breast man. Second, I’ve heard that one in eight women will have to deal with breast cancer.  That is huge. There are over three billion women in the world. Using my quick calculator, that means, approximately 375,000,000 women will contract breast cancer. If that number doesn’t seem huge to you, you must be from China. 

Earlier, when I said (even though it’s in print, I still said it aloud as I wrote it) that cancer affects everyone, I wasn’t saying that in a blanket effect. I guarantee that everyone reading this has someone in their life that has had cancer. My sister-in-law had ovarian cancer. If you're rolling a tear right now, I'll give you permission to stop because she did beat it. Unfortunately, she can’t have any more kids.

I know for a fact that the people who choose to fight any disease are strong. I read a lot of comic books, but that is not a subject that is usually addressed there. You might see a character who died of some form of cancer, but to actually see the treatments and the medications, it just shows your true colors. I definitely tip my hat to any cancer survivor because the worry, the stress, and the pain they all go through just make you know without a shadow of doubt that you should be thankful for every day you’re alive. 

Time for some facts. “Breast cancer is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.” And yes, I literally just copy and pasted that. Now, I am not a doctor (I just play one in the bedroom), but that sounds very technical. Cancer is an unregulated cell growth. As the cells divide themselves and grow, they become malignant tumors. Those tumors then invade other areas. 

Once you are diagnosed with cancer, the preferred treatment is surgery where they carefully go in and cut the infected cells out. One of the most successful treatments for breast cancer is the one we’ve heard about a lot, chemotherapy. Chemo is where the infected person takes a variety of chemical medications that slow the speed of the cell divisions or kill those cancerous cells. And up until right now, I always confused chemo with our next therapy, radiation. As you can guess, I'm an idiot. But radiation is used to bombard the affected area with high doses of ionizing radiation. 

As a whole, approximately half of the people who are diagnosed with invasive cancer survive. That is a glass-half-full way of saying that half don’t make it. Wearing a pink ribbon is not going to save anyone’s life, but if a woman with breast cancer sees that and gains just another moment of strength—a moment that helps her recover—then we should all be wearing pink. 

The donations that everyday people make to assist in finding cures for this disease as well as many others is instrumental. Think about that when you see the donation boxes at stores or at the marathons asking for donations. We ALL will be affected by cancer. Finding cures to these diseases is one of the most important things this world needs. If you want to find ways to help organize fund raisers, donate or just learn more about breast cancer, click HERE and HERE and worst case scenario, go to Wikipedia. And always remember, I love your avatars!

 [Editor's note: Although it is rare, it is not uncommon too for men to be stricken with Breast Cancer. Cancer affects all, and this type of cancer is no exception.]

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hotlanta Blues—You’re Damn Right I Got the Blues!

-by Sita Writer

When you think of the blues, you think about misfortune, betrayal, and regret. You lose your job? You get the blues. You don’t get that promotion? You get the blues. Your partner cheats on you? You get the blues. You can’t log onto the grid? You get the blues.
Blues lyrics frequently deal with personal dramas, and often, the words go way beyond self-pity; sometimes, they are about overcoming hard luck or just having fun. The best blues are visceral, cathartic, and exposed raw and primitive emotions.

There are many theories about where the “cradle of the blues” resides, but most clues lead back to the African continent and then to the Mississippi Delta. A precursor of modern blues originates from work songs sung by black laborers and the influence of religious songs on the genre from the nineteenth century. Today, there are many subgenres of the blues, ranging from Country to Delta, acoustic to electric, Piedmont, boogie-woogie, Jump, and Chicago, to name a few.

If you are in search of an authentic blues club in SL, you need look no further than Hotlanta Blues owned by DonPaul Cale. This club exemplifies all aspects of the blues: It is gritty and soulful, sensual with a dash melancholy joy; this club offers a true urban haven. DonPaul, a genuine blues aficionado, found out about Second Life from a songwriters chat group and decided to explore the possibilities of live music on the grid. “I built my blues club to reflect an old city, one that is somewhat used and abused, but still alive and thriving in spite of all its been through,” says DonPaul.

Now in it’s fourth year of operation, Hotlanta Blues offers a palette of blues that is always a treat. When asked, DonPaul reveals that his favorite type of blues is, “slow and soulful, led by electric-guitar; the kind that makes you want to close your eyes and listen while you move to the music.” As for a favorite, DonPaul notes that there are so many blues musicians both old and new that he admires. “If I had to choose one I might pick Albert King. I love the feeling he puts into his guitar work.”

The best thing about Hotlanta Blues is that the DJs who entertain you here really know and appreciate the blues. “We have live DJs every day starting at 3 or 4 p.m. SLT... sometimes a little earlier... and they go into the wee hours of the morning, depending on the crowd. Twice a month we have Saint Skytower perform live and once in a while we have other live musicians. I'd like to have more live musicians more often, but that gets expensive and our primary goal is to keep the club solvent so we can keep it open and keep playing the blues,” DonPaul says.

As for owning a club, “I built Hotlanta Blues to be a club I would enjoy going to. I want people to come and have a good time and enjoy the DJ’s and Hostesses and the other people there. In my opinion, SL is not a game... it's a virtual social environment where you can interact with people from all over the world while you enjoy doing things together. There are things in SL that simply annoy me and interfere with that enjoyment... lots of flashing lights, overly irritating gestures, talking pregnant tummies, etc. You won't find those at Hotlanta. What you will find is the blues being played 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” says DonPaul.

 Hotlanta Blues is always rockin'! It is small, some may call it a hole-in-the-wall, but that is what the best blues bars are. The sound is sweet, and the crowd is hopping. You won’t have the blues if you check it out!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Virtual Wrestling Spotlight

- by DavidHawk Actor

For those of you who don't know me, I feel I should react like Ron Burgundy.  "I'm kind of a big deal," I'd say.  I've been involved with the Second Life Pro Wrestling Community for two and a half years and during that time have made a name for myself as an owner, writer, and performer.

If you've never seen professional wrestling inside Second Life, you are truly missing out on live entertainment.  Not only is it action performed by people in the ring, it's voice acting at its finest.

When I first was introduced to pro wrestling in world, I was shocked.  I have been a fan of real world pro wrestling my entire life and never even thought to see if it was here in Second Life.  That day, I learned not only was pro wrestling a thing here in SL but that it happens everyday!  There are a variety of groups and showtimes to fit everyone's timezone differences.

Just like real professional wrestling, doing this in SL is scripted entertainment.  If you signed up for a match against me, we would both know who was going to win but crafting the match to get there is all up to us as the performers.  The community uses a hud system that allows you to type a move into the local chat, hit enter and watch your wrestler perform the move against the selected opponent.  I'm simplifying it, but that is the general idea.

The greatest part of this scripted entertainment is being able to craft a story with another person.  You provide the drama thanks to the voice performances and the actions your character takes.  If you're a heel (a bad guy), you might insult the crowd or attack someone with a weapon.  As a face (good guy), you'd do it all for the fans and stick to the rules.  Writing stories is why I got into this community.  I love writing the feuds between two or more individuals.  Seeing the stories I've written played out is an amazing feeling.

By now, you can tell I have a real passion for the community as a whole and really enjoy what I do for it.  The purpose of this article is to shed some light on the amazing people within the wrestling community and spread the word about this underground community.  If you want an action, adventure roleplay with a group of people who are friendly and willing to help new applicants, then you won't find a better group.

Being that this is my first article and because I'm a promotional whore, I'll be spotlighting myself.  For uniformity purposes, I'll be talking about myself in the third person for the spotlight.


                                                                (Photo by Angeli Optera)
Name: DavidHawk Actor
Nickname: "The Real Deal"
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 245 lbs
From: Boise , Idaho

Formerly known as "The Renegade," "The Stinger," and "The Icon," DavidHawk Actor claims to be pound-for-pound greatest wrestler ever and by looking at his accomplishments, it would be hard to argue with him.  He held the OEW World Championship on five seperate occassions as well as holding the AWF, NBW, and UXW World Titles once each.  At the 2011 OEW Legends Awards Ceremony, David won the awards for Superstar of the Year and Good Guy of the Year.  At that same ceremony, he was also inducted into the OEW Hall of Fame.  He's held a variety of other championships as well, ranging from the OEW Tag Team Championship to the SWF United States Championship.  He has known success in every group he's worked at as well as worked some memorable feuds with some of the best known names in the SL Wrestling Community.  After being with OEW since its founding in 2010, he said farewell in April of 2012 and took some time off from the wrestling scene.  During this time off, he filmed a movie for Force.TV called Living With A Vengeance as well as started a weekly talk-show version of Virtual Wrestling Spotlight where he talks with guests from around the wrestling grid about controversial topics affecting everyone.  Outside of the wrestling community, David is an avid roleplayer holding the role of Batman (Bruce Wayne) in Gotham City, SL's premiere Batman-themed rp, and Wolverine (Logan) in The Original Marvel RP.  Recently, his break from wrestling has ended, and he's shown up at Virtual Wrestling Entertainment, a group that prides themselves on having the highest quality of production value.  DHA arrived at one of their biggest shows of the year, a huge battle royale where the winner receives a spot in the main event of WrestleSeries, their largest event every year.

Now that I've given you an introduction to Second Life Professional Wrestling and then talked about myself for a while, it's time to tell you how you can check these events out.  First, log onto Facebook and like the SL Wrestling Community page.  Second, there is a SL Wrestling wiki that has all the groups and times of each of their shows listed.  After seeing the list, check out one of the shows, and if you don't know where to go, anyone on the Community's Facebook page would be more than happy to help you.  Pro Wrestling isn't for everyone, but whether you go for the action, the drama, or the hot people being half naked and fighting in the ring, you won't be disappointed.  Treat yourself to the best LIVE entertainment in SL.  That's going to do it for me this week on the printed Spotlight, make sure to catch me every Monday @ 5pm SLT on the VWS talkshow live in studio or streamed, and wrestling for the VWE that has a show every Wednesday @ 5pm SLT and Friday @ 6pm SLT.  I love your avatars, and I'll see you next time!

MetaMix Studios, VWE
Slam City, DCWF
Business District Echo, APW
Bonaire85 , OEW
Slam City, HAWX (for female wrestlers, if anyone's interested)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

An American in the UK - Scotland

By Syrah Evans

Earlier this year, I decided it was high time for this US citizen to do some more traveling. This time, it was to be the UK. I've always seen and heard lots about the UK, of course. All one need to is mention "I'm going to visit the UK." and 1000 opinions will be heard, some good, some disappointing. Yes, it was time for me to find out myself!

There are many ways to travel once in the UK: I thought at least some of the time, I would travel via rail. But, how best to get from the London area to Edinburgh, Scotland? That's easy. There are several trains each day! The one I decided upon was the overnight Caledonian Sleeper.
The Caledonian Sleeper train
Late at night, I arrived at Euston Station in London where I was met by a female porter who happily directed me to my car and efficient cabin. The cabins are comfortable, come with your own bed, sink, and storage. There are toilets at the end of the car and a passageway to the lounge car. I wondered if the motion or noises of the train would keep me awake but soon found it was nearly time to rise. The train does arrive early in Edinburgh and the porter wakes you pleasantly in time for your cabin tea and shortbread service. Time to depart in the midst of the old city.

Of course, when in Edinburgh, there are several tourist stops that can be made. One I decided upon was Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh Castle
The castle is a fine and rather interesting place at the end of the Royal Mile, with much to see in and around the area. The day I was there, it was besieged by rains and many of the usual throbbing crowds were nestled in their hotel rooms. However, a rainproof jacket and umbrella provided all that I needed to enjoy the walk in the rain. The views from the castle are amazing.
Syrah's aerial picture of the city Edenburgh, Scotland
This city, even shrouded in clouds and rain, is beautiful! A fine place that has kept well a sense of its history.

Religious stained glass window of the Queen Margaret Chapel

The Queen Margaret Chapel is considered to be the oldest building in Edinburgh. Built upon black volcanic rock, the chapel is not large, yet is quite inviting. Queen Margaret herself was quite an interesting lady. Born in Hungary, Margaret found favor with Malcolm III of Scotland and was married around 1069. As she is sometimes known, Saint Margaret is remembered today for her beauty, her kindness to all she encountered and her devotion to her faith.

There is so much to see, so much history in just this one city. Alas, one must take their rest and let the day's events collect and settle in. There are several fine hotels within easy walking distance of the Royal Mile. Mine was comfortable in every way yet, I decided to adventure for some breakfast the next morning. A fine Scottish breakfast it should be too! 
Syrah's delicious Scottish breakfast!
One with eggs, ham, tomatoes, toast, and, of course, haggis. I found it quite a tasty breakfast, satisfying yet not overly filling. Just right for another day's adventure. As I walked out the door of the restaurant, I was greeted by sunshine and blue sky. 
Sunshine and Blue skies!
OI Magazine reporter, avatar Syrah Evans
Ah, Scotland! I shall return some day and learn more of your bonnie lands.
Thank you for reading my real life traveling story of my trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.
My name is Syrah Evans, reporting for OI Magazine.
Stay tuned for more of my articles and feel free to comment!

(If you love this article,also read the previous real life traveling story of Costa Rica that Syrah wrote in the August 2009 issue of OI Magazine at this link )

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sydney Fashion Week In Secondlife® - At The Sydney Harbor & Opera House

By Sam Nightfire

Ever since the Sydney Fashion Week event was announced weeks ago, I’ve wanted to attend. Anything to do with Australia is for some reason exciting to Americans & the rest of the world. I live in Hawaii so you’d think I’d be less inclined but not so. Fashion shows are an allure to Fashionistas like myself but when paired with the Aussie aspect for some reason it becomes somewhat playful & exciting and so I couldn’t wait for opening day. Seventeen plus shows were featured, though my schedule only allowed an attendance for the final show.

Harbour & Opera House

First some info on what motivated the IMA or The International Modeling Agency® on this event. Their objective was to promote the Secondlife® fashion industry within the Australian community. Inspired by the iconic buildings of the Sydney Harbor, a replica of the famous Sydney Opera House sat amid water ways inspired by Bora Bora featuring a glass covered runway.

SYDNEY FASHION WEEK of course had a seven days’ worth of exciting designer showcases of casual chic to avant-garde and ofcourse the entertainment of the Australian Guerilla Burlesque dancers inspiring performances. The final fashion show was held on Wednesday August 22, 2012 at the Port of Sydney, Sydney Harbor Secondlife.

Host and DJ Mark Heung aka markski.glom kept the flow going with valuable information on what Sydney was about as well the culture and people. We were offered beach chairs in the sand, windsurfing and sailboats in addition to seats near the runways. Vegemite sandwiches and Fosters® beer, Aussie staples for any party to get us in the mood. The Harbor Bridge,with 3 glass stages supported the IMA Models wearing designer sponsored original clothing, makeup, shoes, accessories and some new and exclusive releases. Guests could also seek free treasurers on the sim, shop and attend the “after party” on the cruise ship once the final show was over.

According to Mark, "Sydney's is known for its laid-back outdoor lifestyle and physical allure, which make it one of the world's most pleasant cities to visit. Its people are friendly and energetic with a blunt approach to life"

When it comes to which city is Australia's true global city, there's no argument. It's Sydney-with its sense of style, its love of sport and exuberant celebrations including New Year's Eve and Australia Day. All of its attributes lie within easy reach of the city centre. Sydney's Harbour is its natural playground, the dominant factor in so much of what the city has to offer.

The city has a wide-ranging cultural life, dynamic food scene and vibrant cityscape of outstanding contemporary and colonial architecture. Iconic beaches and five major national parks deliver unforgettable experiences.”

In addition to beautiful fashion, the performance of Burlesque featured sexy ladies in bikinis and hard bodied men in board shorts shake in their booties on beach towels while mermaids gracefully danced in the air over the water’s edge off the glass runway, facing the huge cruise ship made by Aymec Millet which is a is multi-story build of delight containing several theaters, bedrooms, and night clubs as well as the shops of featured designers. It was a beautiful way to sustain our enthusiasm for the second half of the show.

Designer’s included 1 C’est-la-vie- LarcocoMathy, 2 [[LD Major - Loovus Dzevavor]] Vikeejeah Xevion, Legal insanity DATRIPBlackbart, House of {TORN} Torn Difference, blackLiquid, TreiZe – Elyna Carver,AD Creations Aliza Karu, Boudoir Vitabela Dubrovna and Precious Restless, ··Deesses ·· skins NatalieWells, [AMARELO MANGA] Luana Barzane, VERO MODERO Bouquet Babii, Kunglers Barbra Kungler and AvaGardner Kungler, *SoliDea FoLiEs* Mila Tatham, Countdown AntoniaXp and Vivien Emerald -Désir-

Sponsors were M s B l a c k(blackliquid.tokyoska) – Makeup, Nakia Decosta – .:RUSSH LUSSH:. – Makeup, KunglersBarbra Kungler and AvaGardner Kungler Jewelry and shoes for selected shows as well as Deese’s skins NatalieWells, κεɴɖλ (kendra.zaurak) Fanatic.

The show opened with designs for the men with Ewan Crumb wearing ..:: Legal Insanity ::.. by DATRIP Blackbart. A Jacquard Kilt was paired with ..:: Legal Insanity ::.. war paint by Sun Tzu black/white. As Mark said “The modern Adam...a strongman is represented in this tribal influenced outfit. Both items indeed scream War!”. Then Ananya Mai (Sydney Fashion Week creator) and Blackliquid sauntered on stage wearing the indigenous people’s inspired print separates. Down Under Trousers in Dark Khaki, paired with the bandeau top Outback Bodysuit Print 6, melding together shades of green, gold, red, yellows and deep dark-browns. Their Irwin Pantone Satchel in French Roast picked up thes darker shades,while the Kirkey Pumps in Print 5 offered another playful print to the already complex mix. blackLiquid’s hair was in a high pompadour style with short tail,called Sleepy Dingo.

SFS Australia Dress

SFS AvantGuard Black with Hat

SFS Fav hanki dress

SFS Male multicolored Jacket

All the models

Towards the end of the show, one of my favorite designers Aliza Karu, of AD Creations, always pushing the envelope, an EXCLUSIVE FOR SYDNEY Fashion Week. The Aires Dress worn by Chamonix Boudreaux. “The first design, in striking black, with surreal components, is both sexy, alluring and avante-garde. From the organically shaped sheer head-dress, and the high collared structured neck and shoulder piece, it goes down the body in bold bands of black, to a very tight skirt,with a sheer black overlay. From the back, the view is more bands of tight black, bound around the body, and a headdress that splays widely with beads and branch-like forms, from the front and back.” This one blew me away with its sexually alluring yet almost goth-like appeal.

SFS After Party Hat

Of course to end the event, all models entered the runway for a show stopping look at all the design featured in this last show of Sydney Fashion Week and then it was time to party!

OI Magazine reporter Sam Nightfire
Thank you for reading my article about Sydney Fashion Week,my name is Sam Nightfire reporting for OI Magazine!

Links and Credits

International Modeling Agency Inc.

Some pictures in this article also taken by Sam Nightfire