Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bay City Institute for Anomalous Research

Tucked into a tiny corner in Tanelorn, the Bay City Institute for Anomalous Research is an enchanting find. Described as a place for "discovering, researching, and preserving diverse cynosure," the Institute is run by Professor CC Columbo, Director, and Professor Geohistoria Farshore, Researcher. Professor Columbo spoke of his colleague Professor Farshore as someone who spends his time "looking for exhibits, exploring the Grid, and having adventures. He's from Caledon." The parcel overlooks both the West Channel and the unnamed sea to the south of Bay City, allowing for surreptitious deliveries of artifacts by boat as needed.

Wandering inside the main building, pictured below, one encounters a great number of strange and unusual artifacts. According to Professor Columbo, "the exhibits will be rotated and brief stories will, with any luck, be written about each piece. This is a work in progress." Statues of Bast rub elbows with dinosaur skulls and medieval suits of armor, and there is even a strange, glowing, very futuristic-looking box sitting near the back door. What could be inside?

Professor Columbo's office is located in the round folly on the south side of the parcel, pictured below. The professor commented about the office, "It is where Geohistoria Farshore and I keep up with the administration of things and plan explorations." The office inside the folly is a delightful jumble of books and packing crates and even an adult phoenix in purple-feathered glory.

Professor Columbo is the first life brother of Bay City's own Uccello Galway (Uccello Poultry). He commented, "Uccie and I speak often about the time bubble that was created when I moved our family graveyard from next to her Bay City Arboretum of Atypical Vegetation. It was the same Faerie magic that moved the Institute from Dennis to Tanelorn, mostly intact and oddly expanded. Parts of the site disappear into the time stream and/or the Nevernever and other parts appear. Little critters come and go. Uccie's alt Zyx Flux, the source of the Faerie Magic, rezzes the critters and helps with landscaping." (Take a moment to explore the Arboretum as well - it is a wonderful and quirky place with a similar feel to the Institute.)

Although the parcel is only 784 square meters, it feels deceivingly larger. Every bit of space is well used, with many places to sit and enjoy a moment of quiet contemplation. When I asked about the aforementioned graveyard, Professor Columbo told me, "You'll see a statue of a cherub to the northwest after you arrive. It's the one that was in the Dennis cemetery, and it is a memorial for Lydia Rose. That's my RL daughter. She passed away many years ago before she was three years old. I have always had a memorial marker out for her, at minimum. At one time a quarter of the Nangrim sim (which Uccie and I owned) was named for her. I like to think of the Institute (and the Arboretum, since it was my idea to have that in Dennis) as a way that Lydia and I explore together and have adventures." The Bay City Institute for Anomalous Research sparks the imagination and will rekindle anyone's love for adventuring. Why not visit today?

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