I was debating on what to write about first. After all, I’ve visited a lot of places in just six weeks. But then the news broke just as I was rezzing in the other night to this location, and I decided to make this article a present to some acquaintances.
You see far more clubs designed for dancing and raving the night away in Second Life than gathering places for dancing to other kinds of music. The options exist, though; you just have to search for them. I found 288 places with the keyword “ballroom” in Place Search — meaning here “a place for dancing and socialization in a formal setting.” (Some of these can be disqualified, as they’re borrowing the word for their own purposes, such as the Gothic Ballroom — a £2,500 prefab building for sale.) A few are very familiar, having been published in books and other sources; the Avilion Castle in Avilion Grove is probably the most famous, followed by Baccara Rhodes’ Stardust Ballroom. But other possibilities are there, and are more heavily and frequently populated. So if you’re looking for fun to the music my employer calls “pop standards,” running from swing to Sinatra, the first club I’d recommend is Frank’s Place.
I discovered Frank’s when I ran into a woman at Alady on Hallowe’en night who was wearing her group label, and I haven’t regretted the encounter yet. Franks is located on Oasis Resort, an island that is given over mainly to the activities of the club and its associated businesses (an upscale mall and a large condominium development). The lag can get stiff even on this private island, due to the amount of traffic; but, having said that, it’s still very tolerable even with the amount of prims flying around from skirts and hair and bling. As for the design itself:
The main floor is built up from ground level, on a high marble platform that you reach by broad stairs or the usual short-range teleport system. Inside, you find a large dance floor with the usual variety of poseballs, set for waltzes, foxtrots, etc. instead of watusis and headbanging. A central circular staircase takes you up to four high balconies with more dance room. (I should note that I’ve seen at least one couple literally dancing on air, but the rezz lag may have been bad that night.) Lower balconies are placed at each end of the room with tables and chairs, set up two for men and two for women at each. The poses here are quite nice:
A touch empty usually in the chairs, but most people go in for the dancing, not small talk. Anyway, it’s hard to get a Chateaubriand and a Scotch on the rocks yet, so there isn’t much of a dinner crowd (grin).
Other small touches are scattered about the floor and the grounds. I believe that’s a stand for the DJ that you see on the extreme left in the first photo; on the right is a little pavilion for
As for the music, Franks gets it from three places:
- Streamed music from a site called Martini in the Morning
- Occasional live DJs
- Live appearances by a channeling singer, Sinatra Cartier (with a voice that does remind one of the original Sinatra or Michael Bublé)
How popular is Frank’s? Well, every time I go in there, I find about 40 people, including the hosts and (usually) the owners, Gymmy and Nanceee Sinatra. The entire staff is competent at greeting customers and making them feel at home. I’ve never had a bad time in all the visits I’ve made to Franks, aside from one time when Sinatra was on but the stream was completely out of action. And you can’t blame that on the staff.
Oh, I almost forgot…the news I mentioned earlier. The owners, Gymmy and Nanceee? They announced last week that they’re getting married in SL! Actually, this is just sort of ratifying something that already exists; the pair is also man and wife in the Real World. But it’s really nice to find a pair able to bring together several levels of passion: for music, elegance, building, and each other.
Ring-a-ding-ding, folks; come on in, and let’s swing! For event updates, join the Frank’s Jazz VIP group.