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Archive for March 25th, 2008

The LoftThe Loft, the department store owned by Colleen Desmoulins and Bethany Heart, opened on its own sim on Saturday night (March 22nd, 2008). Duckyfresh Watanabe of SLCN That S’Life was the DJ, and there were live performances from Phemie Alcott and Khafka Dinzeo to get the sim off to a rockin’ start!

It is good to see The Loft with a place of their own after all their wanderings. And they’ve worked hard to make sure it’s a beautiful setting, with their work laid out to the best advantage.

People who saw The Loft’s recent appearance on Meta Makeover and existing fans of the Loft will know that the furniture is gorgeous, with a richness in the texturing that makes it quite exceptional. Now it has a full sim to expand to – and wisely, Colleen and Bethany have left room for development rather than trying to cram it full to start with.

The Loft For the first time, the Loft will be offering prefabs, and there’s already a small number of homes, each one furnished to suggest possibilities. Among others, there’s an elegant townhouse (seen in this picture) and also a wonderfully grungy warehouse – complete with a mouse cowering in its hole – yes, and the moment she grows up is there’s a cat on the prowl, you see!)

There’s also a range of office furniture available … hmmm … perhaps the Meta Makeover offices could do with a spring clean …

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I have recently seen references to a developing sim of Costa Rica by the Costa del Pacifico group.  I read them with interest since a family member is planning to spend a summer semester studying there. The blog articles I read were focused on fashion and the shopping district, but I found the whole estate a wonderful place to explore and live.

The goal of the group is to develop an estate of sims which combine to look like a map of Costa Rica. Zoning is planned for each sim, set for residential, commercial, mixed, or leisure. Sixteen sims within the estate are intended to be open spaces / water sims.

 

The best place to start exploring is at the CDP International Airport. It’s a shiny, modern airport though it was fairly quiet at the time I visited. Just outside the airport, look for the free hovercraft tours. Sitting in the hovercraft initiates the tour, giving you a menu of places to visit – the wildlife sanctuary, rainforest, nude beach, whale watching, surfing, or shopping. Whichever place you choose, the trip includes a narration of the sites you’re passing as well as polite announcements at each sim boundary crossing.

There are some nice designers at the shopping sims. I was interested to find clothing and shoe stores dedicated to men, something that I don’t see often (though I don’t seek them out, either). I was very happy to find a free backpack, though others may be more interested in the elegant gowns or beach wear. There is an outdoor art exhibition currently along the sidewalks. Nearby is a clubhouse perfect for wedding receptions or hanging out. One word of warning – be careful crossing the bridges in this area. They open to let boats pass through, and I ended up in the water!

For people who love sun, water, and sand, there is much to do at this estate. From the shopping area, you can sit and watch dolphins frolicking in the waves. The beach shack calls you to kick back and relax. Worship the sun at the nude beach. Surfing and windsurfing are available. I took a hovercraft tour out to the deep ocean to watch humpback whales play. It was tempting to jump in and swim, too, but I forgot to pack my suit.

There is fantastic hiking at both the private wildlife sanctuary and the rainforest. Costa Rica is known for its biodiversity, and many animals, shy and not so shy, can be found in these areas. Look for activities such as horseback riding, rafting, hanggliding, swings suspended high in the tree canopy, and suspended rope bridges to cross one hilltop to another.

I’ve had a wonderful time exploring this estate. I hope my brother’s time in the real Costa Rica is at least as fantastic.

 

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