Love versus Hate, Beauty versus Ugliness

It has been a really bizarre week for me.  On one hand I have been dealing with direct hate and total ugliness in one community, and in another, I've been experiencing the total opposite.  Such love and such beauty!

For readers that do not know, New Toulouse Bayou, NT's third sim, landed a week ago last night.  I put many, many hours of work into creating the foundation of the sim before it arrived, as it used to be my sim Edison.  So, I was able to do a lot of work on the terraforming, parcel planning, road and train track layout, and some very basic landscaping with trees and plants.  I'm guessing I put about 40 hours of work into it prior to it landing in its permanent location just west of New Toulouse Algiers.

The following pictures are all of New Toulouse Bayou, taken this morning Friday, March 5, 2010.

I am not a stranger to planning an entire sim.  I had two years of "playing" with Caledon Carntaigh, and then I did terraform, parcel and landscape Edison when I got it.  I have the experience, however this was my first New Toulouse sim.  This was a whole new challenge for several reasons.  First of all, the first two sims were designed and created (builds included) by Carricre Wind.  Mama Cree is gifted.  I can't say it more directly than that.  She's an artist with content creation...and she is from New Orleans in the actual world.  She took her talent and combined it with her soul, her love for New Orleans.

People feel that when they visit New Toulouse and New Toulouse Algiers.  Visitors IM me, enchanted with the sims, the way the sims TRULY feel like New Orleans.  There are some gorgeous New Orleans sims and builds in Second Life!  The sim Fat Tuesday is one of them.  The difference with NT is that we are historical.  We are 1890 - 1920.  There is no way that I could have created New Toulouse the way Carricre did.  I don't have the skills with building, and I was not born and raised in New Orleans.


I have some strengths that turned me into the perfect person to take NT over from Carricre.  I have not lived in New Orleans...but I have lived and visited the places were the original settlers of New Orleans were from.  I lived in France (In Brittany) for 1/2 year.  I speak French.  I've been to the city of Saint Malo on the coast of Brittany, against the English Channel.  I can hear some of you thinking: what on earth does a coastal Breton town have to do with New Orleans?

The Acadiens were the people who left France to escape religious persecution, and who traveled to Québec, and elsewhere in the world.  They came from all over France, but there was a fairly large exodus of them from Saint Malo.  I have also been to Québec.  I visited Québec before I lived in France actually.  I had never seen anything like the old city in Québec in my life (I was 17).  Later when I went to France, I was amazed at how Québec City was similar to Saint Malo.  Québec City is like a city in France literally dropped on to North America.  It's amazing.  Some Acadiens left Canada and resettled in Louisiana.  Say hello to the Cajuns!

There are many generations and miles between today's Cajuns and the world I lived in in France, but there is something undercurrent in the soul of the New Orleans French Quarter, that I just *get*.  I am so plugged into things that we can't see.  I have had many, many experiences in my life that would be called "psychic".  I don't know how to use or control these things, but I feel them.  My most reliable and strong connection to the "psychic world" is music.  And music is such a huge part of the soul of New Orleans, and therefore the soul of New Toulouse.  Music is like air to me.  Like water.  I need it to be able to live.

I think that some residents of New Toulouse did not know how a Yankee Girl like me could pull off a sim like Bayou.  I'm not trashing the people that doubted!  It's natural!  Seriously, how would your average Yankee Girl "get it"?  But I have life experiences and loves that connect me to New Orleans, even though I have never been there.  And I did feel like I "got" Carricre's vision, that I felt her soul, and that I could do it justice.  The last piece that helped with Bayou is that I grew up on rural wetlands and I spent a huge chunk of my childhood in them.  The Upper Midwest's version of "swamps".  The water here is fresh water, and the trees and plants are not at *all* the same.  But still, I could extrapolate my childhood spent on a small river and its wetlands out to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.

This is how a Yankee Girl could make a sim like Bayou.  With just as much soul as New Toulouse and New Toulouse Algiers, and a perfect fit for them.  :-)  It's not *exactly* like the first two sims.  My soul is in Bayou, just as it will be in the next sim, New Toulouse Jardin.  I think that Mosseveno Tenk has done an amazing job with adding sims to New Babbage, staying true to Shaunathan Sprocket's vision, and yet still making the sims his own.  This is my goal as well in New Toulouse.

Residents of New Toulouse, I just plain love you guys.   Your joy and excitement this week regarding New Toulouse Bayou has been the one of the things that has kept me from attacking the people that have so brutally, unfairly and yes, CRAZILY attacked me.  Thank you to all of you who have complimented me on the sim foundation I created and for expressing your excitement and joy in Bayou.  Many of you have taken the time to tell me these things, and I appreciate that so much.  Plus, residents of God, you guys have blown my mind with what you have done with your parcels so far!  Last night I was walking around, really looking at everything you have done closely, and tears came into my eyes.  It's stunning you guys.  You are all so talented!  There is nothing like love and beauty to blow away the hate and ugliness and make it ok.

I'm going to be more than ok, my friends.  A lot of people have contacted me over this week to express their support, and their disgust at the sheer ugliness of others.  I learned a new turn of phrase this week from a friend who said: You have Tall Poppy Syndrome.  I'll leave that up for others to decide and will say "no comment"...but it was cool to learn a new "saying".  I've never heard that before!

Here is my theme song this week.  I just added it to rotation on Radio Riel Steampunk yesterday.  It's Avril Lavigne with "Alice (Underground)".

See you all in New Toulouse!

~ Miz Gabi