Mitch Merricks (MM) and I (Vick Forcella VF) met up at his Little Coffee Shop in Moloch. Sitting in luxurious seats we had this talk:
VF: Are you related to Vincent Merricks?
MM: Nope, afraid the only Tune I can carry is in a bucket.
VF: What brought you to Second Life?
MM: First Vick, have some yummy "Planter's Punch". Oh don't worry, only the 1st sip is strong!
Back in the old'n days of 2006 - I heard stories, you know how it starts. Somebody (Anshe Chung) makes a Million dollars, rumours of land with (lowers voice) "adult activities" crop up at the water cooler. I had to learn more!
Mainland felt like the Wild West. Griefers running amok shooting & locking people in cages, zombies and bunnies doing "it" together out in the open, flaming floating didoes left at your door like calling cards, or were they invitations? Land dotted with who knows what kind of builds next to each other. Hello? Zoning laws anyone?
I settled for some private island rental land, and picked up some building skills for a few years.
VF: What brought you to Bay City?
MM: Another mason jar of punch, Vick? How about a slice of pie? Made it fresh this morning!Well (hands on hips), fast forward a decade.
I found some beautiful land in the Shermerville Bloomfield area, but that didn't last long. Dear god, the crime rate! (whispers with shifty eyes & leans forward) No seriously, no one speaks of it. "The Greater Good" you know, but it's scandalous. I kept planting trees and the next day 1/2 of them were gone! I knoooow, and inside my property lines too! And don't even get me started on the number of cars stolen, getting returned days later from some other city. Sure I know, some Bay City folks have childhood homes there, more power to em. For me, it was lipstick on a pig. Nope, I was done. Lovely neighbourhood, not for me.
So with my cars missing or returned damaged, I walked the bridge to explore Bay City, found a Realtor, left a note. You'd think when the "Bay City" name is part of their company name they'd be thrilled to take a bucket of new money. Nope, never heard back.
If something's worth doing, whip out a map, the check book, and go do it yourself. I found Land in Moloch for my lovely home.
VF: We are now at your Cafe in Moloch. Can you describe it short and your motivation to build it there?
MM: Oh, my little Coffee shop! Well, it's an old Converted Gas station on Ulysses Drive, one of my 1st lots in Bay City with wonky mismatched brick walls and looks like it's had previous lives before I knocked out a wall or two.
Outside is a free Bike & Car rezzer for guests. Next door is an old expo Building I've converted to a clock tower and my future office space.
The block suggests a revitalized warehouse district, perfect for a cup of Joe, a snack., and some exploring!
|Coffee Shop - Moloch|
MM: I never see them, but I know they have to be around! It's the little things. You walk by a public space a zillion times and then notice something changed. Was it always that way? Did that just show up? It's a mystery! Moles and Moloch go hand in hand. With a residential community, a warehouse district, down-town growth, plus proximity to calming sea breezes, Moloch is the place to be!
Besides, Sarah said it best "I can see Moloch from my window!"
|Bay City Canal Terminal - Moloch|
VF: Everyone in Bay City seems to have a job or favourite activity. What is yours in Our Fair City?
MM: Prims are like Lego's, I like a big box full to build with. When I think of a builder, I think of someone inventing every prim themselves. Me? I like using ready made parts, taking them apart, and weld them back together in fun and unexpected ways. I love this Community, and I'm thrilled to have a few places for folks to visit and enjoy.
VF: Do you spend much time outside Bay City?
MM: I built a lovely Garden Bar & an Amusement Park in Sistiana that is open to the public and free. I have construction equipment in Barcola to build a future water retreat.
My latest restoration project is in Downtown Moloch, the "Bay City Canal Terminal" just opened.. The abandoned rail project (because tunnel blasting caused a waterfall) left the land desolate for years. I see it's future as a fun place to hang out with neighbours and friends. All are welcome.
|Garden Bar - Sistiana|
VF: I have seen the amusement park at Sistiana. Can you describe it and your motivation to build it there?
MM: Merricks Amusement Park is a fun addition to Historic Sistiana with awesome views from the Ferris Wheel & Drop Tower. it's steps away from Rt 66, and a few blocks away from the 1st Primitive created on private property! It's on the trolley line that goes to a Linden Visitor Center. Its also located near mostly absent land owners and overpriced empty land for sale, We see a lot of new SL'ers stop in for free rides, burgers and snacks! It's also across the Street from Merricks Garden Bar, one of my favourite builds.
|Amusement Park - Sistiana|
VF: Rumour has it that Emperor Michael comes from Nova Albion. Have you seen him often and can you tell some more?
MM: Someone by that name has an open tab at Merricks Garden Bar but always steps in when I'm away. Why would an Emperor have muddy boots? The staff always has to mop up after he leaves.
VF: What advice would you give to someone looking to move to Bay City?
MM: The Bay City Community Center should be their 1st stop to learn just what makes this all so special. Add the address for your readers wont you Vick? Beware of land barons. Some are honest, some are well, questionable. If you find a reasonably priced lot to rent, jump on it quick, you'll get to know the neighbourhood better that way. Over priced lots stay empty, how that can be profitable is beyond me. BC auction land is usually 1/2 what land flippers ask for, so check the auctions daily. Lastly, I'd suggest chatting with residents of Bay City, they usually know of deals and good landlords if renting is your preference.
VF: Bay City is not like typical Mainland, of course, but what do you think of the "wild frontier" outside Bay City?
With a whole world to explore past the Bay, take sun screen, bug spray, a hat, a jug of hand sanitizer, and don't drink the water!
VF: Do you consider your Second Life persona a "character" or a representation of who you are in Real Life?
MM: My 1st & 2nd life are alike in many ways, I tend not to mix the two.
VF: Do you have a philosophy for Second Life?
MM: Be kind, we were all new once upon a time.
Give the benefit of the doubt, not everyone is out to make a L$ or take advantage.
Nevertheless, best to be cautious.
VF: What ONE thing should anyone not looking in your Profile know about you?
MM: Hey, you had two quarts of punch, I get two answers!
I hope my contributions enhance the community.
I'm more approachable than I look.
VF: Any last thoughts you'd like to add?
MM: There is so much Land for Sale in Bay City that sits empty, and many of the same lots have been for sale for years without a buyer because of the high asking prices. It's sad to see that, when they could be rented out at reasonable prices and bring more people in to enjoy the community. It's also sad to see... lets call them investors, who own multiple lots all over Bay City not for sale or rent and they just sit empty and unused. It's a disservice to Bay City. It can appear disrespectful to neighbours of this unique land, and stagnates the local community we all love.
I hope some day that will improve.
With all that punch I walked back to my place in Mashpee, but I am not sure how I arrived there.
Interviewer Vick Forcella
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