Wednesday, June 02, 2004


I admire Aimee Weber's recreation of the Empire State Building in Hawthorne, to be sure, and I'm impressed by the recreation of New York City's Cortlandt Street subway station that she's working on now. But for some reason, the thing in her ongoing project to recreate various Manhattan landmarks which really arrested me was her loving tribute to a dive bar on the formerly bad side of town, where old men dance to hardcore industrial music, and bartenders howl like Amazons.

"This is Bellevue," Aimee announces to me, while some of her hipster friends trundle in and lounge about. "It's a real bar in Hell's Kitchen."

Chase Rutherford looks down at the floor. "Needles... yuck."

"And it pretty much looks just like what I have [here]," Aimee continues. "All these posters are in the real place. The real place has more stuff, but I would use up all the prims trying to keep up."

"Did you recreate [it] from a photo?" I ask her.

"No, there aren't many good photos of it online." She laughs. "I did it mostly from being there and remembering. I spent more time in this bar than is healthy, I think."

What with a red light district and a realistic ghetto where gang warfare is a regular social event, this is hardly be the first example of seamy-side architecture in Second Life. But then, like Aimee, New York dive bars hold a special place in my heart. I ask her to recount some of the wilder things she's seen in the real Bellevue.

Standing behind the bar of the virtual version, her purple wings fluttering behind her, Aimee thinks awhile.

"There was this 70 year old guy dancing to Nine Inch Nails (Dancing Dom, we called him). Chickies routinely take of their tops. One of the bartenders screams like Zena Warrior Princess."

"Why does this seat have 'Maxx' on it?" I ask, because there's a brass plate with that name fastened to its side.

"Maxx Monde," says Aimee. "He always sits there."

"No where else," Kyada Satyr agrees.

"He has his mail delivered here," Aimee goes on. "He is like our version of Norm from Cheers.
Great builder, totally sweet guy."

So this is where Aimee and her friends kick back, when she's not working away at her New York City recreation, outside.

"Some of these buildings are getting wiped out, though," she says, "to make way for my attempt at Times Square."

"Times Sqare of the Giulani era," I ask, "or the more sentimental hell hole it was before?"

"HELL HOLE! HELL HOLE!" Peregine bellows from the other end of the bar.

"Well," says Aimee, "I only lived here [in New York] for the last five years or so, so I cant say I really know the hell hole Times Square. Now we have a Toys R Us [there]... it's really a family-oriented place. Even Hell's Kitchen, which was sorta nasty when I first arrived, has really become gentrified." She glances around at her friends, all wearing black, leather, or other goth stylings. "I know you will lose all respect for me, but I LIKE it clean and safe."

I agree, then note, "But virtual skank never hurt nobody."

"Yes, Hamlet!" she says, relieved. "Totally."

Posted at 04:47 AM | Permalink


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Amiee was one of the first people I met when I got to SL and I emideatly fell in love with her... well her wings at least. I must say I am a newbie but the things in SL are so amazing... it is scary but I often think of my RL as my second one now. I wonder what the possible ramifications on social interaction will be in four years. Anyway's I just wanted to say You are all making SL so wonderful a place I never want to leave. LOL So amazing how Reality is being pushed to its limits though the creativity of so many people where we can all do what we want. And thank you all for being so nice.

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