October 27th, 2006

Hotels in San Francisco, after World War II

NaNoWriMo invader here. *waves*

I'm planning out a novel set in San Francisco in 1947, and it takes place mostly in a small, exclusive hotel in the city. The main characters are employees at the hotel, and the hotel owner and guests figure prominently in the story as well. I need to get an idea of how hotels were run just after the war. Would they be significantly different from contemporary hotels, or should I assume things are basically the same, vis a vis a front desk, an on-site kitchen, housekeeping, etc.?

Also, should I assume that the postwar economic prosperity was already in effect by 1947? My history books tend to skip right from the end of WWII to the fifties and the Cold War, and that little in-between sliver gets overlooked.

Lord, I feel young, but 1947 might as well be 1147 as far as I'm concerned. :-(

penguin say tea?, Tea! Penguin! (doyle on JF)

Psychiatric and/or neurological help

Random, obscure, and possibly unanswerable question:

Is there any sort of medical or psychiatric condition that would cause someone to see people's faces in a warped, fucked-up sort of way? I'm aware that certain kinds of brain damage can make it impossible for people to recognize faces. I'm wondering if there's anything along those same lines that would affect how a person views other people.

Background: it's for a story for my creative writing class, about an artist who paints bizarre portraits of people, and it turns out that's actually just how she sees them. The story was criticized in workshop for not being based enough in reality (i.e., the character's not noticeably psychotic in any way). I'm trying to find out if I can keep this particular storyline and write it in a realistic way, or if I have to completely change the ending.

Thanks in advance.