Most of the Steamlands have held steady over the past few years, with only a handful of new entities coming online. There, however, is a slowly developing trend to integrate Steampunk aspects into new sims, without making the entire sim into the them. Some succeed, some struggle, but one which stands out is a beautiful new sim established by two exceptionally talented designers (Mr. M. Inkpen, and Ms. S. Azalee), named The Looking Glass.
The arrival point to The Looking Glass
At first, the port arrival isn't necessarily telling about what is to come in the build, as it is actually non-descript, with a loading boxes, a (nice) group joiner, and further information regarding events in the sim.
A few free gifts for group members are available
However, heading up a bit further, one of the first things I noted was an outstanding quality and attention to detail that reminded of the works of Mr. Sextan Shepherd's builds. The minute details of the cobble stones, the fountain, and the surrounding structures were exceptional.
Probably the best Art Nouveau cafe store front I have seen in SL
Their main store for purchases is located in this somewhat abandoned urban area, with small nods to a Steampunk aesthetic as one looks around. Not all of the items for sale are exclusive to the genre, but a good number are, such as their outstanding Victorian street lamp, and their exquisite Vintage Bus Stop.
On my way towards the current amphitheater, I noted the abandoned theater, and decided to take a peek....
... and again, their build and texturing quality is exceptional - likely some of the best in SL, imo.
The Art Nouveau design of the amphitheater caught my attention, so passing the tulips and "healthiness" of the build, I came across a very unique (but sadly not for sale) item...
... this stone head of a statue of a Victorian Gentleman, complete with monocle! As an additional bit, illuminate lightbulbs waft around his stone cranium.
The design of the Art Nouveau stage, along with an appropriate Victorian musical piece (one can never go wrong with a piano!) was well done, with plenty of space in the surrounding areas to enjoy any performances provided - close enough to enjoy, but without being crowded.
Off to the distance, the Flying Eye Art museum, ah, caught my eye, so to took a leisurely stroll to the edifice in anchoring itself in the midst of the sim.
Again, notable Steampunk-esque relics abound in the museum, along with artwork from noted Second Life designers...
... such as my good friend, Mr. Skusting Dagger. The contrast between the aged and weather exterior versus the decor and polish of its interior is a perfect locale to display art from talented individuals in Second Life.
As one heads to back of the museum, taking a backwards glance a the classical architectural silhouette, one then turns to see....
... what looks like an endless Victorian cobblestone bridge appears, extending towards a vague object in the distance....
... which is actually a work titled La Mer, a beautifully detailed cello "housing a lonely fish who is dreaming of living ins a more luxrious abode than its fishbowl!" A beautiful work, which I certainly have an eye on for the Heliograph!
The Looking Glass is an amazing sim - I've touched on what could be seen as the Steampunk aspects of it, but there is so much more to investigate, explore, and experience! Perfect for photography, couples, or simple relaxation, I heartily recommend a visit to The Looking Glass - to do so, please visit...
To learn even more about The Looking Glass, I would suggest...
Miss Honour McMillian's blog entry on The Looking Glass
The Design Challenge review of La Mer
and their homepage, located at: http://www.jmrart.com/thelookingglass/