Posts Tagged ‘the three lions’

Dancing with Prad on my RL birthday in March, at Crown & pearl

Dancing with Prad on my RL birthday in March, at Crown & pearl

Over a year ago The Three Lions pub closed down in Second Life. The dominant personality at the pub was not the owner like you might expect, rather it was Prad. This was not a contested fact. And depending on which rumours you listened to, his decision to leave the pub was the last straw for the existence of the place. I don’t want to get into the specifics of why it closed down, all that matters for this post is that even back then Prad had a following of sorts; people enjoyed his company and thought he was a good person to be around.

Once the pub closed there was a suitable amount of aimless wandering between locations. At the time I semi got a following of my own, people who wanted to be where I was; I could get a crowd without a hassle and often did. It wasn’t me who noticed this fact first, a friend pointed out to me that I could get the “party started” and that when I left things often fizzled out. The only place I could go that already had a group of people from the old pub hanging out before I got there, was Prad’s home. He likes to joke about opening the Crown & Pearl to get us all off his roof. It wasn’t just a “place” we went, it was because it was his place.

Once Crown & Pearl was set up, I was just a regular. But I knew I had found my home. There were many other places that were set up when Three Lions went under, some are still around today, most are nothing more than a blip on the radar. I decided my loyalties were with the place, and even though I’d get frustrated now and then with things there, my loyalty was always firm: Until Crown & Pearl was shut down, I would not become a regular at any other bar. Even when it hit some very quiet dead lulls and the owners would talk about dismantling it, I stayed on. “Oh there’s more people over at Lilly’s” or whatever the latest catch-cry was, hell sometimes I knew the owners were hanging off at the competitors bars too, and even then I stayed firm and would greet everyone who TPed in at Crown and make them feel as welcome as I always did there.

Now there’s nothing wrong with frequenting other bars, I’ve been to more than I can count, but Crown & Pearl was an infant bar and I wanted it to grow and thrive and be great, so I knew what I had to do and I did it. And what I was doing got noticed. Over time I was made a “greeter” there (at the same time that Molaskey’s had been looking at taking me on as a host), then security, and one day I was made management. Each step taught me new things that I applied to the next, I feel like I earnt the powers and privileges I have there now.

So we get to the point of this post.

Every couple of weeks I get someone telling me the same thing, “you know what, you should get your own Crown & Pearl!” The reasons for the recurring comment are varied, whether the comment is said flippantly or seriously, brought on by something or nothing, but it comes up often enough that one day I said to Prad something, and I have to share his response for you to really know and understand what sort of person this guy is.

I said I’d been thinking about how it might be neat to open my own bar, and spoke about a potential opportunity to do so on a friend’s sim. Before I tell you his answer you have to keep a few things in mind: Prad had openly acknowledged that I was kind of a female him, meaning I could get parties going and keep them going, and that there was a group of people who liked hanging around me – a group that would find it’s loyalties split if I was to branch off. We’d watched the bars fighting for the same group of patrons ever since Lions had closed, and it wasn’t pretty. Despite all of this, he said to me “I’ll support you in whatever you choose to do”.

He could have disowned me and called me an ungrateful cow, he could have said it was treachery, he could have said it would be pointless and no one would go to it, or that he’d squash me like a bug. He could have given me the cold shoulder, or tried to manipulate me out of it, or taken away my privileges at Crown in concern over me abusing them to further my new pub. But he didn’t. He was calm, and he was encouraging.

How could I ever hurt a friend who would do that – who would support me in my decisions and endeavours even though he knew if I was successful that it would damage his own to some (possibly significant) extent. I had been somewhat interested and excited at the prospect of having my own bar, but when he said that I knew I could never do it. Besides the thrill (and accompanying terror) of being fully responsible for my own bar, there was no other reason to bother with it – I love the way Crown is built, the way it is run, and the people who go there. In the months since the idea of my own bar was slightly attractive to me, I have been given even more free rein at Crown; over time the owners have come to realise they can trust my judgment and my instincts and in turn have told me to feel free to use both more. There is nothing having my own bar could give me, that Crown doesn’t already do.

Now I don’t know if my own bar would have succeeded. And I no longer want to know. Crown & Pearl has graduated from infant struggling venue fighting for a select group of patrons, to a fully fledged venue with a strong daily group of regulars, and a steady stream of newcomers. I doubt very much that anything I do or don’t do at this stage would effect that. My ego doesn’t need to test the theory, I don’t overly care if I can “pull a crowd” (though it is kinda cool), what I do care about are the people sitting in that room with me who let me be part of their crowd.

At the end of the day, if you want to know the heart of Crown & Pearl, stand in the room when Prad sends out a notice that he’s DJing and see what happens. They come in fast and strong, I’ve never seen someone who picks up the stream on a whim be able to pull that off the way he does. The heart and soul of that place is the same heart and soul of The Three Lions. So should I start my own Crown & Pearl, is the wrong question. Because I couldn’t. There is only one, there only needs to be one, I’d only want there to be one.

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Almost a year ago, a wonderful pub called The Three Lions, closed in SL. This mattered. A lot. It left at least a hundred people feeling lost, people who almost everyday logged into SL to spend hours there, with the people there, now had nowhere to go. A fair chunk of them stopped, or as good as stopped, coming to SL at all in the months that followed. One of the managers of Three Lions, some dude called Prad Prathivi, was kind enough to let a goodly chunk of us go round to his SL home as a place to hang out together and stay in touch. A place to listen to music, dance and have the occasional drama ^^

Eventually him and Kendra Fallon and Bailey Longcloth were good enough to set up another bar for us to congregate at – The Crown and Pearl. I still go there everyday. Literally, everyday. If you wanted to run into me that would be the place to do it.

Now there are a fair few lost souls still, people who left SL after Three Lions closed and drop in-world at times to see if it’s back or anything in SL is worth their time since it closed. I’m honoured that a number of those people IM me to find out what’s going on now, where the old crew is, and what’s the best replacement for the loss. This used to happen quite frequently – the searching and querying IMs – and of course I always do my best to help them feel wanted and like they have a place to go that’s worthy of their time. And The Crown and Pearl is that place. As recently as yesterday I got another IM asking along the lines of “where do I go now..?”, which I think just empahises how thrown people were when Lions closed – that people would stay away from SL so very long thinking it wouldn’t be worth their time anymore.

I’ll keep being a Lost and Found service for as long as I’m needed, I’m just happy and lucky there’s a place worth directing them to go 🙂

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