Saturday Snapshot: Bookish Places

One of my favorite things to do on trips is to visit places I’ve read about in books.  Somehow, having a fictional event set in a real place makes that place so much more interesting!  Maybe it’s because I read about so many fantasy or sci fi places I’m obviously never going to go 🙂 so it’s especially fun when I can go somewhere real.

Everywhere I turned on my trip to New York, I seemed to be seeing something I knew from a book or a movie or just the cultural consciousness.  Naturally I took pictures of everything!  But I’ll just share a couple today.  🙂

First, the fountain in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It’s lovely in its own right, and all the more interesting because Claudia and Jamie took a bath in it while they were hiding out at the Met, in From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg.

Next on the museum tour, the Natural History Museum.  It’s featured in The Night at the Museum, but personally I was more interested in it as Caroline’s museum.

In The One Hundredth Thing About Caroline by Lois Lowry, Caroline is an eleven-year-old girl and aspiring paleontologist who goes to the Natural History Museum every week.  She knows all the exhibits and everyone who works there.  It’s clearly a second home for her, and I felt that a bit vicariously, even though it was my first trip.  And anyway, who doesn’t love seeing dinosaurs?

I’ll save some other places for another week…  In the meantime, check out more Saturday Snapshots on At Home with Books!

25 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot: Bookish Places

  1. I love that fountain photo.
    Interestingly enough [perhaps?] I do something like what you are doing here, but with Wikipedia. When a certain [real] place is mentioned in a novel, I will go to Wikipedia, log in with my editor status-thing, and reference the allusion in their “Literary Links” section. I think of it is as my little contribution to…. Literary Geekdom!

  2. pooch2

    Wonderful images and amazing range from one museum to another. Looks like you are having a wonderful time with so much inspiration and food for thought.


  3. Dennis

    Yes, New York is a fabulous place for spotting things that you know from books and movies. Some, like the Empire State Building that King Kong decided to climb, are famous landmarks in their own right. Others, like the fountain in Central Park that was featured in Enchanted, are recognizable mainly because you saw the movie. Either way, it’s fun to see them in real life.. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts from New York.

  4. I must have read Mixed-Up Files dozens of times as a kid. I was always so jealous of Claudia and Jamie, who were able to go on such a great adventure and live in a museum. I’ve never seen a photo of the fountain though; it’s much bigger and grander in my mind than in real life. Funny how that is. 🙂

  5. Now I understand how the characters become alive when you visit the places that are in the books you read. The visualization becomes complete. You become part of the story.

  6. I agree – it’s so fun to see the real life places from books. I’ve been reading the third Percy Jackson book to my kids and there are a few scenes in Washington DC, where we are going for vacation this year. It will be my youngest son’s first time there, and I’m curious to see what kind of connections he makes from the story.

  7. What a great post! I love seeing places I know from books too – New York sure is full of them. I think that’s because it’s an amazing city that has inspired generations of writers. I love that you tied in bookish places with Saturday Snapshot!

  8. I love NYC! I used to live there as a child and then went back with my hub a couple of times just recently but never got to the museums – guess we’ll have to go back 😉

  9. anniebutterybooks

    I oftentimes dream of visiting the places I’ve read about in books. At the very top of my list is Barcelona’s Bari Gotic district. I was completely enthralled after reading The Shadow of the Wind!

  10. When I read a book that’s set in a place I’m familiar with I’m always trying to visualize what I remember of the area. Sounds like fun to visit the place after reading a book and see what it’s really like. Except if it’s set on Mars or Trantor or future Earth or… I read a lot of scifi too.

  11. I really like visiting places I’ve read about, too; or places I’ve seen in movies. When I spent a weekend in Boston many years ago, I so enjoyed seeing those familiar places in movies afterwards.

    I like your photos. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  12. Thanks for sharing the pictures. I love the way you connected them with books and movies. It’s been years since I read THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER. I need to have a reread!

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