Special Report — Time Traveler Tours Presents: Beware Madame La Guillotine

Update: As of July 26, 2011, “Beware Madame La Guillotine” is available for the iPhone and iTouch at the iTunes App Store! You can find more information at the App Store Link here.

I’m a lover of tales and I enjoy finding treasure, literal and metaphorical. For who does not enjoy a good treasure hunt?

And while my food allergies/intolerances prohibit me from eating many of the culinary pleasures in Paris, some of the things in which I can partake are Paris’ history and mysteries. It was therefore my great pleasure to have taken, in part, Time Traveler Tours’ presentation of “Beware Madame La Guillotine” on a rainy June afternoon along with its creator, Sarah Towle.

Here in another “Special Report,” I’ll share with you about the tour, a bit of Sarah’s story, and my thoughts on the my experience taking the tour.

To learn more, please continue reading!

Image: Charlotte Corday, Wikimedia Commons

What Are Time Traveler Tours? Who Are They For?

The summary on the Time Traveler Tours’ website About page sums it up best:

Time Traveler Tours are interactive StoryApp itineraries to the world’s most visited tourist destinations on your hand-held mobile device.

Written expressly for youth and the young at heart, each tour takes travelers back to a seminal moment in human history with a narrator/tour guide whose actions help shape that time.

In telling their stories, our tour guides reveal the story of their age and provide teens and tweens — and the adults traveling with them — an engaging and vivid understanding of the sites included in each Time Traveler Tour.

Image: Charlotte Corday, Wikimedia Commons

In its first tour, which has been in Beta production for the past few weeks and which will be available this month (July 2011) on iTunes, we meet Marie-Anne Charlotte de Corday d’Armont, an 18th century murderess. She was a twenty-four-year-old woman caught up in the political intrigue and oppression during the Reign of Terror in the years following France’s Revolution of 1789.

In the tour, Revolutionary Paris comes to life as we are guided around the Palais Royal in the heart of Paris’ 1st arrondissement, and then follow Charlotte to her prison, La Conciergerie, on the Île de la Cité, the island in the Seine where the city of Paris was born, where she was held before being executed for the murder of Jean-Paul Marat.

Why This Kind of Tour? What Are It’s Origins?

I don’t have an iPhone nor an iTouch, the two devices for which the StoryApp is currently being developed, though expansion for Android-based phones/devices will follow. But after meeting and talking with Sarah at the David Downie and Alison Harris meet & greet at the Village Voice bookshop for their book Paris, Paris (which I reviewed here) I realized that I really wanted to experience the tour. I was completely intrigued by the idea of interactive historical tours for youth (12+) and their families. The idea of history through stories, of learning though the tale of someone living in that time, sounded fantastic. I wanted to go on this adventure, one way or another.

Image © Time Traveler Tours

I contacted Sarah about perhaps taking a tour with her, and she agreed that we could meet up and use her iPhone to go on the first section of the tour, in and around the Palais Royal, a former palace of royalty in France which was transformed into the Palais de l’Égalité during the Revolutionary period. Home of King Louis XVI’s first cousin, Louis Philippe Joseph II, duc d’Orléans, it was the gathering place of every class of French society from aristocracy to the lowest of workers. Sophisticates discussed in the salons and cafés, gamblers took financial risks at tables, prostitutes plied their wares, and shoppers purchased goods at the boutiques and bookshops lining the arcades. Minus the aristocracy, gamblers, and prostitutes, in many ways not much has changed in the area. The restaurant Le Grand Véfour, established in 1784, still serves fine cuisine to its diners, for example.

Photo: Le Grand Véfour, June 2011 © Karin Bates

Sarah and I met at the Café de la Comédie on rue Saint Honoré, just on the place de Collette at Métro Palais Royal Musée du Louvre so that before going on the tour, I could get to know her better and understand the whys and wherefores of such a project.

Photo: Sarah Towle as photographed by yours truly (© Karin Bates)

Here is a bit of Sarah’s story.

“This project saved my life.”

On July 10, 2004, Sarah, her husband Jim their then eight-year-old daughter Lily arrived in Paris. Here because of Jim’s job, Sarah for the first time in almost 20 years had stepped back from her own career pursuits to be a full-time mother and trailing spouse. At the beginning, for about the first year-and-a-half, Paris was bliss with museums and cafés to be frequented and French language to be learned. But soon for this Hampshire College Undergrad (in Cultural History and Social Anthropology) and Teacher’s College at Columbia University grad student (in Applied Linguistics), it was not enough, and she began to slide into a depression.

To counteract her loss of professional identity (anyone who has had a thriving career and then stepped away from it for whatever reason will know this feeling), besides pursuing language study, Sarah began to develop interactive and culturally-based scavenger hunts for various sites in Paris for Lily. She put them in a pack that they could easily grab on their way to their favorite museums, notably the Musée Marmottan, close to Lily’s school. Sarah tried to make the activities not only interesting, but story-based and developmentally-appropriate for Lily, incorporating her background knowledge as an educator and linguist to create these materials.

Prior to living in France, Sarah had worked extensively in Central America teaching language and literacy development in Freirean-based literacy campaigns; she had spent time in Nanjing, China working with the College English Teacher Training Program at Nanjing University; and she worked with both the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia Teachers College and Educators for Social Responsibility in New York. In addition, she spent five years in the New York City Public Education system teaching conflict resolution to teachers with the intention that they would share what they learned with their students, too. With such an extensive background in education, conflict resolution, linguistics, and world travel, it is not surprising that a void began to grow in Sarah despite her efforts to keep herself fulfilled by learning French and creating interesting material for her daughter to become more familiar with her cultural surroundings. As many might know, the trailing spouse of someone on a working visa in France does not have the right to work at jobs in France, although they can be designated as self-employed in their home country. Sarah needed to create something for herself to do. When it dawned on Sarah that Paris was likely to be their home for more than just a couple of years, she sought to redefine herself.

By 2006, Sarah was “going mad with the need for professional fulfillment.” It was on the sunny island of Guadaloupe during a much-needed vacation when she had the epiphany revealing the next step of her professional evolution. In that moment of inspiration, she announced to her family, “I’m going to write a book.”

Photo: St Sulpice Marché de la Bibliophilie, June 2009 © Karin Bates

An App is Born

And write a book is what Sarah did. For this part of Sarah’s journey, I am going to refer you to Laurel Zuckerman’s blog (author of Sorbonne Confidential) In a post entitled From Print to Digital Media: Why I Made the Shift, Sarah expresses how she wrote a Paris tour guide for children organized in small pochettes, pocket-sized books, containing itineraries, maps, games, and treasure hunts — all interactive and interesting – alongside historically-relevant information intended to both entertain and educate children visiting Paris. Reminiscent of Lily’s pack, the project’s objective was to “illuminate history through story.” The post on Laurel Zuckerman’s page explains how the idea for the book in print transformed into an interactive StoryApp.

Another key to the development of Sarah’s idea for the StoryApp tours can be found on Time Traveler Tours’ webpage under the tab named “Origins.”

Photo: The Conciergerie, September 2010 © Karin Bates

One day, Sarah was crossing the Seine from the Right Bank near Châtelet when she heard an American man describing the Conciergerie to his two tween sons. Thinking erroneously that the Châtelet medieval prison was also around and about, Sarah corrected him, and let him know that it had been torn down during Napoleon Bonaparte’s Empire. Watching the eyes of two bored boys glaze over, Sarah kicked things up a notch as she began to describe some of the gore and horrors which happened at the Conciergerie, immediately engaging the kids, who then asked their dad, “Can we go there?” The mother of the boys responded to Sarah as well, “I wish we could hire you for a day.” She explained that all the boys had wanted to do was get back to Facebook and their video games, and that this was the first time on the vacation that the boys had been this engaged. As it says on the Origins page, “Just like that, the Time Traveler Tours were born.”

What Was The Tour “Beware Madame La Guillotine” Like?

I loved it. When I was doing the tour, I kept thinking, “This is like Professor Layton meets French History!”

For those of you who are not familiar with the Nintendo DS games called “Professor Layton,” they are, just like this tour in many respects, interactive, problem-solving treasure hunts in which the goal is to solve puzzles and mysteries in a progressively-revealed story. In “Beware Madame La Guillotine,” we are guided through Revolutionary France with the aid of Charlotte Corday and an interactive map. There are games, treasure hunts, and problem-solving activities along the tour, which make it fun and accessible to youth. But I, as a 43-year-old woman had a great time doing the tour, too. It is by no means so childlike that an adult cannot have fun and learn something during the tour. It’s a sophisticated and smart tour.

The tour is divided up into 24 chapters, each of which reveals a piece of Charlotte’s story as it unfolds during the year 1793. Right now, you can find the core content of each chapter on the Time Traveler Tours site, starting with Chapter One of “Beware Madame La Guillotine” here. As release of the app approaches, Sarah intends to share each consecutive chapter with us to give us a taste of what the tour content is like. Interspersed amongst these chapters are interactive elements — games, puzzles, treasure hunts, and map quests — to offer a break between chunks of information, engagingly narrated from the point-of-view of Charlotte Corday.

I only went on the first part of the tour, the section at the Palais Royal, because that is what Sarah and I had time for that day, and the weather was also cloudy and rainy. While it was still enjoyable, the weather did put a slight damper on things. The tour is designed for a full day: morning at the Palais Royal, lunch at Le Café Procope (famous in part for being the place where coffee was first served in Paris), and the afternoon passing through the Left Bank to La Conciergerie, where Charlotte Corday was imprisoned. However, the single tour could just as easily be divided into two half-days.

We began in the forecourt of the Palais, the cour d’honneur with the (in)famous columns by artist Daniel Buren lining the open area.

Photo: Sarah Towle in the forecourt of the Palais Royal. © Karin Bates

We continued into the gardens and around the shopping arcades as the story of how Charlotte Corday came to murder journalist Jean-Paul Marat was revealed.

Because we were using the Beta version of the StoryApp, there were some glitches, but the good news is that is exactly what Beta-testing is for: to reveal those little things that need to be fixed for the final product. We found a few that Sarah added to her “hit list” of fixes to make before the final product hits the virtual app shelves later this month.

I think that if you are someone who wants to take a creative and interesting tour highlighting an integral period of Paris and France’s history, and if you have an iPhone or iTouch device, this would be a wonderful way to uncover some of the mysteries of the Palais Royal (and the Conciergerie as well, as I am sure that portion of the tour follows its predecessor in quality). I’m hoping that eventually I can finish the entire tour and discover what happened to Charlotte after the murder of Marat: her imprisonment at the Conciergerie and execution by guillotine on the 17th of July, 1793, 218 years ago this month.

How You Can Help Out

To learn more about the StoryApp from the creator herself, and also learn about how you can contribute to the project (with rewards!) head on over to Kickstarter.com. Contributing at least $1 can help ensure that this product sees the light of day on iTunes and that a bilingual version 2 will be produced as well. Pledges get you STUFF, good stuff, too, so head over to watch a video of Sarah narrating a detailed description of the tour and learn how you can contribute.

Update!

As of July 26, 2011, “Beware Madame La Guillotine” is available for the iPhone and iTouch at the iTunes App Store! You can find more information at the App Store Link here.

A Personal Note in Closing

In my previous post about photographer Chloe Lodge, it came up from readers in comments about how while they have enjoyed the “Special Reports” I’ve been posting about once a month since last November (2010), readers miss my more personal musings about my own daily life. I commented that I have missed them, too.

There have been multiple reasons for my going this route in the past 6+ months, some of which are closely personal and not blog fodder. It’s also because the amount of time I have to blog these days as compared to when this blog was born on July 5, 2009 (Happy 2 Years, Blog!) is much less. My life has changed and evolved. Some of the things I am doing and experiencing are“tricky” to blog about, yet very much a part of my daily life. It’s stuff I would like to be blog fodder, but don’t feel comfortable about writing at the moment. I hope if this blog is going for another two years that I one day might be able to write more about some of those things openly. I’ve been doing a lot of good growing here in Paris, though, and meeting up with and doing lots with others. Part of this growth is simply that I am a helluva lot more busy than I used to be! This is a very good thing. Less time for navel-gazing, which (in large doses) can become self-destructive, and is definitely a bent of mine! Sometimes this propensity can make for good writing. But it also means I am doing more than just taking photos out my dining room window, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. In the meantime, posting reviews and activities such as this has been my “solution” about needing to write and to keep this blog going without going into details about the thing about which I enjoy writing most: my life.

Still others have asked me with these reviews or reports I do if I am receiving any kind of income or recompense for them. Nope, and nope. The Special Reports I have put here are because I WANT them to be here. Yes, in a couple of cases I have received books from the authors or publishers, gratis, as review copies. But if I did not believe in or have positive thoughts about those books, tours, people, and places, I would not write about them. These posts are about people I have happened to meet here and there, often at events to which other bloggers go here in Paris, we connect, we get to talking, I like what’s going on, and I ask if I can write about what’s going on for my blog. That’s it. I do this because I want to, and it is good practice for me with a more journalistic and professional style of writing. I like doing it.

Some people ask if I receive money or pay, or if I make my living, from this blog, in general. NO. (Definitely NOT! Haha!) I created this blog because like Sarah Towle in her story, I was going to go mad if I did not have something to do with my time here in Paris. I was not in a good way my first year here, something I may get the inspiration to write more about one of these days. By July of 2009, I realized I needed something to do to keep my head busy and get out and see more of Paris. Also, when I discovered it would not be possible for me to legally have a job in France, I realized I also needed something to keep my mind active since I would not be able to do so in a working environment. Since I already had been keeping private blogs since 2004, especially getting into it by 2005, having a more “formal” blog about my life in Paris (instead of the “here’s how I’m feeling today” journal-type of entries I had been keeping) was a natural extension of what I had already been doing, and has turned out to be a very productive thing in terms of having a life here in Paris.

In fact, this past week, I received the honor of recognition by easyJet Airlines on The Ultimate Paris Travel Blogger List 2011. Thank you, easyJet! You have been the only airline I have ever flown from Paris to Nice and back to see my best friend, and to be recognized by you is really cool. I appreciate it. It also makes me realize that I have a commitment here, even if unpaid and solely a labor of love.

Photo: Canada 2009 (Upper Ontario) © Karin Bates

I have one more Special Report that I am planning for next month, which will be posted in absentia since I will actually be in the Canadian hinterlands at that time. I’ll be gone most of the month, and not able to check email or post on the blog during that time (no electricity! Only the essentials such as the refrigerator and range are powered by propane. There is solar power support as well as a generator for going online once every couple of days so that Paul’s parents — it’s their place to which we’re going — and we can keep in touch with civilization via a satellite Internet connection, but when you have more than six people vying for computer/online time for the hour or so the generator is on, only the bare essentials can be attended to).

Come September when I’ll be back in Paris, I would like to challenge myself to be more blogworthy, and perhaps set up a schedule for myself to post more of my own personal stories. I’m feeling them returning to me even as I type here, so let’s see if I can’t develop something and see it work for more frequent, personal posts as before.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate it when people do, very much so. And don’t be shy to leave a comment, either! It’s nice to know who is reading and what you have to say as well.

Over and out.

I’m your —

Alien Parisienne, Paris Karin

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21 thoughts on “Special Report — Time Traveler Tours Presents: Beware Madame La Guillotine

  1. Hey Karin…great post…very interesting…and three cheers for the notice from Easy Jet…ahhh…I knew you when… haha

    sorry again that we couldnt’ meet up this time in Paris…only so much you can cram into a weekend visit..our trip to Florence was fantastic and Rome was amazing…

    for sure there will be a next time…keep smiling and enjoy your month in the great white north…

    • Hello there, Deb, faithful reader! 🙂 Sarah just found out yesterday that the StoryApp was approved for iTunes, so it should be appearing there very soon. I hope that those equipped will try it out, whether a youth or young at heart. It was really fun.

      I’m bummed out that we could not connect the weekend you were in Paris also, but I know for me, too, that was a crazy period of time. You’ll have to come back, bring an iPhone (lol) and we’ll go on the tour, eh? 😉

      Okay, I know Paris is lovely and all, but when I start to think about all the beauty in Europe in general my mind seriously boggles. It just gets kind of blown away (“head asplody!”). When I think of Italy, especially Rome and Florence, I always think of that great book and movie “A Room With a View” when contemplating Florence and Rome. I would really like to watch and read it again.

      Thanks for the additional props re: the easyJet list. “I knew you when…” hee hee hee! Part of me is really honored, and then there’s the part of me that is all “Hunh? Did they know what they were doing?” haha! But you never know: I’m still brewing ideas for that YA novel that has been bugging me for almost a year now, and pieces of it are trickling in, and it is gelling up into a more solid mass. Just in time for NaNoWriMo! I hope that I can give you more cause than the easyJet honor to say, “I knew you when…” and I promise I won’t become an ass if I do it, lol.

      See, the thing is, I knew ME when, too, bwah hah hah hah! 😀

      Oh Deb, I am so looking forward to Canada, I can’t tell you… I’m glad I get to come be in your country for a while. 🙂 Although, I have to say, the shopping selection (stores) in Sault Sainte Marie leave something to be desired… and even what’s there is about 3 hours away! Yikes. I’m hoping to hit an Old Navy store in Michigan when we’re heading out of the U.S. 😀

      You take care, and thank you for being the first to comment. I should give you the Queen of Comments Award for being most consistently the first to comment. 😉

      • queen of the comments ..I like that…

        so you are going to the Sault eh?…way up there..my husband is from Kapuskasing..look that up on the map of ontario..it will make your head spin

        yes Florence and Rome ..now that’s history and beauty…Rome (I was only there one day but still) I found almost overwhelming…the stuff is just massive…what a city..and I loved all the restaurants and bars along the Tiber..so cool

        Florence was just heaven…the art is all around you and we were there long enough that you get to know your particular neighbourhood..where to pick up the beer…where to get more bandaids…the food , the shopping..everything much cheaper than in Paris…and the italians…love them…no snooty looks if you don’t speak the language..they just laugh and you figure it out together…

        I read a Room with a View the week before we left…love the movie..loved the book just as much…got me in the mood…(great minds think alike!)

        all that being said…I still have a huge soft spot for Paris…always will and I’ll be back…no sweat…with an iphone!!

        have a great holiday….Old Navy, Target…now you are speaking my language….!!!

      • Holy Cow: Kapuskasing is WAY the heck up there, eh? 😉 Now THAT’s Northern Ontario, hahahahahaha! Actually where we are going is east of the Sault and then north. The closest large-ish town, which is about 35-40 min away, is Thessalon. It’s between Sault Sainte Marie and Sudbury on Trans Canada Hwy 17. Then north up 129 past a little place called Wharncliffe to Cumming’s Lake. Paul’s folks are one of six folks who have homes on the north shore of that lake.

        So yeah, now I have told the entire world where it is, but honestly, good frakkin’ luck to ’em if they really want to chase me up there, haha. It’s not a journey for the faint of heart!

        But Kapuskasing?!? Do people really live there? Like humans, and not just bears?? Wow. What a place to be from!

        How cool that you read “A Room with a View” before going! *siiiiigh* What a great story, and to BE there in Florence (& Rome) to see it all? I can see what you mean about Rome being overwhelming. I have not been, but the whole weight of Western Human Civilization is centered there… yanno? It’s hard to bend my head around, just like Kapuskasing, lol.

        OMG, I cannot wait to go to Target. I usually have a day in Lansing, Michigan to shop (out of 3+ weeks of being in North America). I make it worth my while, lol. I MISS TARGET.

        Okay, QoC, have a great evening & hope to see you in Paris again very soon. 🙂

  2. Jennifer

    Hi Karen – I really enjoyed getting to know Sarah and hearing about her great project. It’s clearly another reason for me to get an iphone. I was excited to see she was a Hampshire grad (I went to school near by at Mt Holyoke). I really like your ‘special reports’ so my vote is to keep them coming! Hope to see you soon!

    • Hi Jen! Thank you for reading! This is an EXCELLENT reason to get an iPhone! 🙂 Definitely add it to the list of reasons to do so. Well, it is a small world with you both and the colleges in the NE! My ex was born in Holyoke, Colorado, so I’ll just throw that in the mix. 😉

      I’m glad you like the Special Reports, and I know I won’t abandon them at all. I have too much fun getting to know people here and the projects on which they are working. Never fear! They are here to stay, just hopefully interspersed with some other sorts of blogs, too. Thanks for letting me know you enjoy them.

      I hope to see you soon, too. We need to schedule a RDV, huh. I’ll email you now so I don’t forget.

      Take care!

  3. Carole

    Nice review, Karin! This app sounds really interesting. Too bad I don’t have an iPhone or Touch!

    Regarding personal storytime: perhaps you can do a “I’ll tell mine if you tell yours.” 😉 A friend of mine attended a party once where the guests were asked to share an embarrassing moment. Made for an entertaining evening.

    Congratulations on the well deserved blog recognition. Ultimate Paris Travel Blogger? WOW! That really is cool.

    Enjoy your stay in Canada.

    • Carole

      Ultimate Paris Travel Blogger shouldn’t have a ? at the end of it, but an !.

      • Hi Carole! I am just amazed at what kinds of apps I read about for smartphones. Paul has an Android one & I have a lot of friends that have the iPhone one. You know, go to the site and read Charlotte Corday’s story as Sarah posts chapters from the app. I know how much you like history and her story is a really appealing one, especially as told with this StoryApp. But you can read it, too, on the site! I was really pleased to know about this woman in French Revolutionary history. Check it out!

        That’s a terrific idea re: if I tell my story, you tell yours. 😀 Seriously, it is a great way to get people writing about their lives, too. A Blog Challenge. You are always so full of good ideas, Carole. Thanks. (Sort of like a literary “Truth or Dare?” LOL)

        Thanks on the recognition on the blog. Yeah, it is with some irony that I view the title, though, hahahaha. They got it right when they said “an outsider’s view of Paris” though. I should incorporate that somehow into my blog title. Yup — September will be the month when I try to get some of this worked out methinks. Fall. Rentrée. A new school year… That’s always seemed an appropriate time to get things shifted around a little bit.

        I am very much going to enjoy my stay in Canada. It is the perfect getaway spot to leave behind everyday technology and get back in touch with a simpler way of life (okay, except for the fact that the only way to get to the place is by boat… so food shopping and doing laundry is a little complicated, haha. But life is simpler in terms of few distractions, and lots of relaxing).

        Take care, Carole, and you at the very least get Princess of Comments if Deb is the Queen. Thanks for faithfully reading and commenting!

        Bisous!

  4. Have a great time in Canada. Let’s get together with Lisa when you get back..

    • I’d love that, Linda! And thank YOU for sharing your wonderful Scandinavian trip on FB & your blog, too! I’ve been checking in now and again, though I have not commented. It looks like you had a spectacular time. 🙂

      Be well & see you again soon!

  5. Great article. Except, don’t you think “…prostitutes plied their wares, and shoppers PERUSED the boutiques and bookshops lining the arcades…” sounds better?

    Mwah

    • Yes dear. It sounds wonderful. 😀 Just not so wonderful that I decided to use it in the article. 😉

      Look at us! We’re going to be married on September 9 and we already sound like an old married couple! Maybe we’ll get married and somehow regress to a young, dating couple?!? (lol)

      Maybe we’re just old. Period. HA! But here’s to getting older with you. 🙂
      xoxo
      K

  6. I really love the idea of this app. I am so fond of history and when you layer over the city I love, particularly a place that I adore, Palais Royale, it is such a treat. I want to do the tour on my next trip. I love the back story of the creator, it allows to know there is a human behind the technology which makes you appreciate it that much more. I am going over to donate now, I think this is an App that should see the light of day!

    • Hi Andi! Thank you for reading. I really like what you wrote here: “I love the back story of the creator, it allows to know there is a human behind the technology which makes you appreciate it that much more.”

      I’m so glad that you liked that part because I could really see it was such a great story of how creativity gets inspired out of necessity, and especially out of necessity to redefine oneself, or one’s career. I like how Sarah was able to realize that she needed something to do, and how the result of the app came from not only work, but synchronous events that unfolded before her on which she capitalized. While I think it is important to do the work of seeking, I really have seen in my own life that if you take steps to seek something out, it, in fact, finds YOU. That was the part of her story I liked so much! It was an example of this idea in action!

      Thank you so much for going over to donate to her cause of ensuring that production carries forward and that this company can continue on! I really hope you get to do the tour! It was so fun. Sarah and I will eventually take the second part of the tour together once she and I are both back in town. I hope eventually I can do a follow-up post about how things are going for her!

      Take care, Andi, and thank you again so much for supporting not only my blog but also Sarah’s StoryApp! 🙂

  7. ken

    somehow I thought having your own “independent” internet access would have increased your net time in compensation to being more engaged in living in Paris. I love that the people you introduce us to are folks we can connect with on some level and enrich, even inspire us. Sarah has taken the scavenger hunt your family went on last year and adapted it to a particular historical string of events/story and made it more accessable to a younger audience. Even better is that it is not an annual event, but something that can be enjoyed at any time (perfect for enhancing a young persons expirience of a shared vacation to Paris with family). As exciting as it will be to expirience the finished product, it will be equally interesting to see what stories follow (I cold see this app being franchised to other cities around the world).

    • Hi Ken! So nice to see you here! I have been lurking on your Flickr photos of Pescadero and hope to comment on some later, but while I have you here and am thinking about it, I wanted to mention how much I like them. For anyone else interested, here is Ken’s photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenr61

      “somehow I thought having your own “independent” internet access would have increased your net time in compensation to being more engaged in living in Paris.”

      Having a laptop is definitely increasing slowly but surely my access to the Internet in the times I am not running around, doing this, that, and the other! I find, too, though, that I am often out just BE-ing and enjoying things for the sake of enjoyment. Sometimes, believe it or not, I actually set the camera aside, and try to enjoy things as a non-blogger, a non-documenter of all that I see and do. 🙂

      Yes, Ken, it is a lot like the Treasure Hunt that Paul, Anaïs and I did, and is one reason I liked it so. And like you write, it is combining it with an engaging story from France’s past — not only that, but it is about a woman, too! So much of history is male-oriented and dominated that the stories of women get lost, so it is especially unique that it is a tale about a young woman.

      I think that Sarah hopes that this kind of app could be developed for many other places and stories of people, too. Who knows? We may all be saying to ourselves later, “Hey! That’s the famous lady who started with that StoryApp I read about on An Alien Parisienne!” Let’s hope so. 🙂

      Thank you for commenting, Ken. Hope that you are having a great California weekend!

      Karin

  8. Pingback: French Friday – Beware Madame La Guillotine | Misadventures with Andi

  9. Maria O. Russell

    A long time ago, I read Stanley Loomis´s book Paris in the Terror.

    There is a whole chapter in it called Charlotte de Corday. ¡Fascinante!

    According to his girlfriend, his last words were “A moi ma cherie, a moi”

    One of the first to rush to his house after the murder was that great painter turned terrorist Jacques Louis David.

    Wonderful post, Karin

    ¡Mil gracias!

    • Hi Maria!

      Ohhh, thanks for the additional facts about Charlotte and Jean-Paul Marat. It’s really fascinating stuff when you get a chance to actually visit the places where this stuff happened. It feels like history coming to life, and is the complete opposite of a dry text. Although, I bet the Stanley Loomis one is interesting. Some people have a knack for writing about history in such a lively way that it feels like reading good fiction instead of a string of facts. I love it when writers can do that. It’s much like this tour, too — it’s a good story, come to life.

      Thank you, Maria, for reading and enjoying the post. 🙂
      xx
      Karin

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