Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Paris Research and the Internet
This photo was taken back in 2005, when I was all of 16 (gosh, 11 years ago ALREADY?). I was only in Paris for 4 days, and yet we crammed a ton of amazing memories into this very short period. Here we are enjoying some delicious paninis at Versailles, a scene which appears in "The Mermaid and the Unicorn."
Trust me, I mined my memories of that trip for every possible detail to make M&U feel as authentic as possible! I've also bombarded my world-trotting friends with questions, both to confirm my own recollections and determine what might have changed, and also to glean details about the places I was not able to personally visit.
That said, there are still plenty of details that I never would have found without this beautiful thing called the internet. (Have you heard of it? It's a writer's best researching friend and worst procrastinating enemy).
Some random things I've looked up:
- The source of Parisian tap water
- How fish poop/pee
- Eiffel Tower restaurants and menus
- statues on Notre Dame
- Shakespeare and Co.
- Little Tokyo
- Outdoor Flea Markets
- Concessions at French Movie Theaters
- Flavors of ice cream available at a specific train station
Not all of these will appear in the book, but being able to verify facts has been both relieving and frustrating - sometimes changes are required if something is impossible or non-existent. It is mind boggling to think that even fifteen years ago these resources were not available. Sure, the internet existed, but it had not yet expanded to the proportions it exists at now. One certainly wasn't likely to be able to find all of this information, much less in English!
And that's not even mentioning the awesomeness of Facebook, which allows me to posit a question to 400+ people at any time, and usually receive half a dozen answers/suggestions!