June 26th, 2008


NYC anonymous AIDS clinics

How could someone worried about AIDS in New York City go about getting an anonymous blood test? What kind of place would you go to, how would you receive the results, how long would it take?

The story takes place just before the present day (early '00s), so I imagine a present-day answer would work fine. (Unless, I don't know, it involves iPhones or something.)

All help is appreciated!

Paris/London streetscape differences c. 1900

I've been looking at books of photographs of Paris and London, and various historical websites, and have read travel guides from the period, but wanted to consult the collective brain here for other possible ideas and resources.

I'm sending a character to Paris in the very early years of the 20th century (c. 1901/2). She's been living in straitened, vaguely Bohemian circumstances in London for several years, but has never before left the country.

Besides the very obvious, what would strike her as being the most immediate differences between the experiences of walking down a street in the two cities, on her arrival in Paris? She's young and middle-class, but poor, speaks some school French, and will be lodging with English friends in Montparnasse, but will range all over central Paris on foot over time. Thoughts on relative dirt/cleanliness, streetlighting, forms of public transport, carriages, paving, parts of the populace likely to be on foot etc etc all welcome.

I'd also be grateful for recommendations of appropriate guidebooks, memoirs or novels (in French or English), which bring a Londoner to Paris at around the turn of the century. A lot of what I've found is either mid-Victorian or 1910/12 onward.

Modern thieves cant.

I'm trying to write a story about a modern-day thief, and I'm trying to give him a certain voice, one that contains thieves cant/slang. But I searched it up, and it seems outdated. So I was wondering if there were any little words or phrases that you happened to know or hear from somewhere else, that relate to doing what thieves do, like stealing, escaping, some objects that might steal, et cetera. It can even be slang.

A few examples are "plastic" instead of "credit card" or "the green" instead of "money."

My story takes place in the modern day, present time, and in Tucson, Arizona.

Help is greatly appreciated! :)