Monday, July 14, 2014

The Seraph has flown away...

Sadly, every day we see a SL beloved place vanishing, but sometimes they are places saying to our heart much more than nostalgia. They are places where not only we had had occasional visits, admiring their beauty, but places where we have spent a meaningful time, building something, dealing with people, enjoying events or setting our rest places on some of their pretty corners.
This is Seraph City to me.

In the last year, after a moment of crisis, a new ownership seemed to ensure a better future and the city was going to be rebuilt. Months have passed and finally I had known that the city is gone, due to the choice of the newest owner to use the SIM for private purposes. I never met Bromo Ivory, but his profile should suggest a better personality than that of a person who decides to ignore the history and the importance of a place like the one he bought. I can't wish him to enjoy his new place, 'cause he will make it grow up on the ruins of a wasted masterpiece.
As I've got the sad news, I've thought of my first visit in 2010, of the seek for the owner - the well known sculptor Pumpkin Tripsa, at that time - to arrange a rent for a shop, I've thought of the emotion when I set up the little Melu Deco shop in the Champagne Room quarter. I was fascinated by the unique atmosphere of the city, a 1930-40s NYC-like one, with all the typical landmarks I could imagine of that, from water towers to firestairs.

Beneath the big Seraph that was standing on the city's sign (a Pumpkin's sculpture), I remember buildings and corners that have disappeared in the time, like the huge Carrington skyscraper, housing a cool 1940s lodge, reached by a pretty lift and decorated by stunning Jazz Age images. I remember also another skyscraper lightened by violet rays, with a stunning Art Deco club on the top; the moving Memorial to War's victims, the late Donna Flora shop at the Champagne quarter, the New Champagne Room itself, with its warm and cozy theater; and I remember the people I met at my shop, or at the city club, or the pretty times spent there with friends I invited to visit the city and to enjoy its beautiful look.

But Seraph City has been even more to me: I was invited to make there one of my first personal photo exhibits: my friend GStone wanted to rent the Seraph First Bank building to celebrate the first issue of Stil Berliner magazine by an exhibit of my photos dedicated to Art Deco; many of them were taken at Seraph itself. It has been possible thanks to the building's owner Captain Paur Creighton, who later opened her own retro SIM, Swing Times. The gallery has been then used by GStone for an unique exhibit of Precisionist paintings, one of the most outstanding ones I saw in SL showing RL famous painters. 
A few months later, I've been also hired to decorate the Primgraph offices in the city, named The Daily Prim, an exciting challenge, indeed!. 

Later, I saw the city changing, when Champagne Room left the place and the new Estate Manager, Edward Pearse, built the Champagne Arcades, where I moved my shop. Sir Edward did know very well my love for the city and asked me for making some ads to place in other retro places of SL to invite people visiting the "Dieselpunk Capital". We had planned also a photo contest to advertise the city and I still keep the draft of the relevant poster in my inventory...

These are my personal memories, but of course Seraph was much more: anybody who visited it can remember the stunning skyline, crowded by period skyscrapers, the dark streets below the railway line, the unique style of buildings like the movie theater by Pumpkin Tripsa or like the stunning City Hall, or even the huge Art Deco Sonatta Morales' shop, or even the perfect 1930s style Hawksmoor Apartments building. Everybody will happily remember their trips to the buildings' roofs, from where the whole city did offer a stunning aerial view. And nobody can ever forget some warm and attractive corners like vintage diners, cafes and shops.

With the vanishing of Seraph City retro and vintage SL loses a prominent landmark. After the closing of the old Decoretropia, of Swing Times, of the Flashmans club and of Esoterica, all of us who love these atmospheres can still walk through 1920 Berlin streets, can enjoy shopping at Vintage Retro, can wander around the fascinating corners of Chicago 1920 or can have a walk on Paris 1900's Champs Elysées, but we can't longer enjoy the special, slightly misterious atmosphere we have lived in the city of the Seraph.

Goodbye, Dieselpunk Capital!

(Images shown here are taken between 2010 and 2013: they depict different moments of the City's history)   

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