THE WORLD FROM MY WINDOW: THE BLOCK (Updated)
Iris Ophelia told me about The Block, a place that had recently become her pinnacle of cool, and since Iris is bound to know these things, I went and saw for myself, and was duly impressed. So much so, I begged Dragontat "DT" Zagato to tell me about the Block in a "World from My Window" entry, and to our great fortune, he did. What he describes is a unique and impressive story of social emergence, a community unexpectedly evolving from a shared sense of fashion, culture, and urban space.
"What can I say about the Block," begins Zagato, "except that it has evolved into something I never expected it to become. Sure, the Block has a lot of places to shop with both established and new designers, and initially that's all I had planned for it to be.
"A year ago I started my clothing store Desert Moon Clothiers. Shortly after my real life brother, Zabitan Assia, wanted to start his [own line] called FORM. We discussed putting his store on my land but we then asked ourselves why we should stop at just the two.
"We decided to build a small shopping area and, living in West Texas, agreed to design it around a more urban street, downtown neighborhood, New York style theme which we felt defined our own personal style.
"We then invited designers who are our friends and new designers whose work we admired. We didn't charge rent for any of the designers to have a spot because we knew with that approach we could hand-pick the designers whose style we felt was a good 'fit.'
"And so, with just a handful of designers, the Block was established.
"As business started picking up, we observed that it wasn't business as usual. We noticed that people weren't just coming to the Block, shopping in a store, and teleporting away. People stayed, hung out, chatted. We set up poseballs and seating areas (no camping chairs) throughout the Block and people actually used them. I think one very unique feature about the Block is that not only will you see customers hanging out but often you'll see some of the designers. The designers aren't these unknown entities who hide in their secret SL studios and create products to be consumed by the SL population at large. Many times you'll bump into designers talking with friends and customers who frequent the Block.
"With its steady flow of traffic and its regulars, the Block seemed to create its own culture. We didn't establish any rules for the Block except that people come and just enjoy being there and the products we had to offer. It's hard to explain, but it's best said by one of the residents who is a regular of the Block: 'It has a laid back neighbor street vibe .. everyone can just be themselves and enjoying hanging out with content creators and their friends'."
All I can say is you have to experience it for yourself. [Direct portal at this link.]
(All screenshots by Dragontat "DT" Zagato.)
And where in the world do you call home? Take a look at the entire Window series for inspiration, read the details for submitting to NWN's World From My Window series, then send me a screenshot or video link of your SL home or favorite haunt.
Update, 2/25: Fixed SLURL-- it's this one. (Thanks Sean!)