The book I'm currently working on takes place in 1888. Although much of it takes place in New San Diego, there are still parts that take place in Old Town.
Here, the San Diego River coursed by on its way to empty into the harbor where tall sails from sailing ships pierced the sky. Here, one main plaza and street bisected the small town of low red-tiled roofs and adobe buildings. A few stunted trees fought to survive in the dusty yards. A newspaper office, cantina, school house, Wells Fargo & Company, a Catholic church—built with wood transported down from the mountains or brought by boat from northern California.
It always helps me to visit the place that I'm writing about--catching the scent of the ocean breeze and the sagebrush, the warmth of the February sun against the cool shade, and the cry of the gulls--helps to infuse my writing with authenticity.
Old Town is one of my favorite places to go in San Diego. The scent of spicy Mexican food hovers in the air at meal-times which makes it nearly impossible not to purchase a churro or burritos. I can just hear the stomp of a bored burro as it waits for its owner tied outside the Colorado House, or hear a busy mother taking a moment to yell down the street after her children "Cuidado!" (Be Careful!)
Do you live near a historic district? One that sparks your imagination of what it must have been like hundreds of years ago? If you could, would you want to time travel back to that time?