What’s In a Name?

The Virtual Astoria Houseboat

It’s a long story, but I’m really partial to the name “Astoria della Mar” for my place in SL and IWz.   I think I had named my first patch of mainland “Dancer’s Place” or perhaps something even less clever!

I was indulging in my favorite pastime in 2007, virtual SHOPPING!  (that continued through 2009, fyi!)  I kept trying to understand this new thing I was seeing around SL…Steampunk.  It was a great architectural look and feel.  Victorian and a touch of goth – with neat mechanical gadgets and gizmos, usually made with great attention to detail (and prims).  I came to decide that Steampunk was a celebration of the age of invention, Tesla (noooo, not Edison!), and Victorian (including some bodice ripping).  While exploring some Steampunk themed sim I saw It…I had to have It…”It” being the Houseboat Astoria.

In spite of the fact I really didn’t have room for it on my land, I bought it.  It was beautiful!  So much detail – great textures.  It included documents describing it’s Real Life history – even photos and video!


The RL Astoria on The Thames

My new houseboat was a replica of a vessel really on The River Thames…right now..in RealLife!  and, I was cool enough to have a virtual copy of it for my virtual space!

I learned that The Astoria’s original owner was Charlie Chaplin’s agent, Frank Karnac (sp) and it had been built in the early 1900’s – it was neglected over the years, until David Gilmore bought it, refurbished it and began using it as a recording studio for Pink Floyd (cool history, eh?)

This virtual replica “needed” to be crammed full of virtual antiques, and I made short work of that.  It became so lovely, so romantic – I couldn’t resist turning this, my home, into a “venue” – open for visitors!  To do this, I’d need a name….hmmmmm something with the word Astoria…..

I played with the name Astoria by the Sea – and somehow experimented with Spanish and Italian and….Astoria della Mar felt so right on my tongue – such a nice roll and rhyme.   To heck with the fact that a literal translation didn’t really work – this was a virtual reality!  To my ear, it sounded exotic, romantic and unique.  It set the tone for everything I did there after…and was certainly better than “Dancer’s Place.”

So there you have it.


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