Thursday, February 21, 2008

Second Life Furniture At The Big (And The Little) Oblonski

As an SL blogger, I made a big mistake today. I was prepared to write an entire feature on a massive furniture store at Antiquity Township East. Turns out that wasn't even the main store!

Think this is big? Wait till you see the main store!

Oblonski Furniture specializes in classical furniture with a 19th-century influence. If you are looking to add elegance to your virtual property and sidestep items that were strained out of a single mangled sculpie or two, this is the place!

Little Oblonski is still a sprawling block store as large as or larger than most stores you will see in SL. Harmoniously placed in the middle of Antiquity Township East, Little Oblonski's neighbors include RiARNYA Flower Shoppe and Antiquity Furniture.

But once inside, you forget about the rest of the sim quickly. Blissfully non-Top 40 music greets you and sets a pleasant tone for the remainder of your visit.

Furniture, from tea sets to dainty chairs to couches, sofas and full-sized fireplaces, adorns the store in well-arranged sets. Chaises, lamps, vanities, artwork and even a concert piano round out the selections.

Lionel Oliva hard at work, Part 1.

On my first trip in, I thought most of the furniture might have been a little too diminutive for my tastes. However, on this second trip in (I'm there as of this writing), a mid-sized chair, with its expressive animation, ranging from contented to coy, did the trick for me, and priced at L$180, it looks like I'll be coming back for it soon. I usually look down on no-copy items, especially furniture, but this Regency Chair seems to be worthy of the investment. And I like the transferability in case I ever decide to have a yard sale! Despite my instinctive avoidance, on worries that I'd break the furniture by sitting on it, I've come to like most of it. I still have a sneaking suspicion that the animations were designed for women only, but most are universal enough to allow use by a metrosexual.

The subtle feminine bent continues across the store, with the most pointed examples being a writing desk, a couch with a reading animation, and a vanity, all with an (F) in the floating text. I don't know about the hair-brushing with the vanity, but a writing desk with some guy animations would have been a nice addition to my office in Pudding Hill.

One of the furniture sections I liked most was in the temp rezzers; things there seemed a little more solid and more my type. While none of them ever showed me the furniture head on, the slight was mainly because I couldn't photograph them without a little craning.

Another area that caught my eye was the fireplaces. A few didn't really register with me, just out of personal taste, but one modern fireplace with the idealized head of a great cat was a work of art, and I would like to buy one when I get enough of my own sales.

Big Oblonski I like a lot more; it seems a lot more fun and happening. The lower floor has a few mystical items, like the F-V Tarot Deck. The choice of all furniture types seems about double, the Maar Bazaar hawks musical instruments, and Kheph's Creations sells Victorian and steampunk designs too. I even found a reasonably guyish desk I could catch a few SL winks at without worrying about fanning myself or sighing in my sleep. Outside it is like stumbling into your cool-crazy great-aunt's best yard sale ever: there are sculpted, color-changing flowers, some well done 3D vines, patio furniture, even a Chaos Machine and a rabbit hutch!

Upstairs, parked in front of some vibrant, classic posters, is a great array of games I never thought I would see in an antique store: Whack-A-Mole, Phrase Invaders, Zombie Meltdown, and the best awfully-named, functioning arcade game in SL: Fist of Discomfort! The music here is the same as Little Oblonski's, SOMA FM, which I've liked since my newbie days of camping at Alicia Stella's.

To sum up, both stores have their pluses. Little Oblonski is great if you know what you want and don't have time to get enjoyably lost in the store. Big Oblonski is a sprawling, fun crawl across two floors and out the door. Try them both out sometime! :D

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