Here is the piece, at the Berlin Economic Ministry, which was a renovation that Vision's firm did for the German government. I have to say, the building is amazing--but many things are in Berlin. The cool part is, I know the architect! (Vision)
The most amazing thing are the SL friends I now have in Berlin. They have been accomodating, generous (!), kind and wonderful. I was in Tampa all over, among "my people."
There I was again, among "strangers," but they weren't. Goldie LeSueur--what a doll. He "saved" me from sitting in my room, took me out for a great lunch, sped me through the Berlin streets (he likes speed like I do--heehee), and made me feel really welcome.
I met Vindi Vindaloo in real life (and oh gosh, what a beautiful and amazing presence she has). Yes, the one who does the amazing clothes--her! She is a great painter, and she has an incredible personal story about SL in her life. I met Parker Noriega, a very talented photographer.
I met Jaynine Scaborough and Lunata Lupino, two of the friendliest and loveliest ladies one could ever meet. They became friends on SL but found out they lived very close to each other and became RL friends. And now they are MY friends. (And let me say, Jaynine is so generous and friendly and down-to-earth and Lunata has the BEST laugh--this sort of snorting giggle that is infectious--we laughed so much!) They took me to this tiny little intimate bar behind a little gallery in West Berlin--I mean, completely hidden away. It was marvelous.
So we were all at this party--lots of dark suits, architects, government people. And then a table of us SL people, giggling and talking about rezzing and textures and gestures. Vindi told me a great personal story about how SL has changed her life. Goldie showed the head minister how SL works (one of those dark suits). And Vision went from group to group, beaming.
Vision--his name suits him perfectly. Look at the photos of the TowerVisions Bethanienturm from SL I took. Now check THIS out:
This is a story about SL that needs to be told. I will not say much about it as it is Vision's story. But Vision took me into this church and we went up several flights of winding stairs (one of which was cracked from the bombing, which he showed me AFTER we came down). He wanted to open the door to let us into the bell tower, but it was stuck. You have never seen a man so bummed when he could not get it open.
Vision and I met and fell into friendship instantly and easily. We spent today visiting the Crematorium and the nearby grave yard. Then we went to the Jewish Museum from Libeskind. I am a museum officianado--I studied some of it in college. This was an exceptional museum. And Vision and I spent many hours together very easily--it was comfortable and engaging. We talked about many things as friends, and I am just sad he lives on the other side of the world because I could see our families enjoying a lot of time together.
I can't tell you what a wonderful experience it is meeting people you have spoken to in SL. It's amazing to see what is in their heads online but also to meet them in person, face to face.
All of us geeks are enthusiasts about Second Life--we love our pose balls and dances and clothes and builds and gestures. But there is something so much more nuanced about it--something much more transformative and social and connective for many of us.
OK, I am off to breakfast now. In Berlin!!!