Arts & Culture

My Book As a Movie

"Who’s going to play you in the movie?" Yesterday, I wrote about The Red Leather Diary movie. "Meryl Streep," Florence answers for who she would like to see as her. "Scarlett Johansson for young Florence or for me," I say. Of … Read More

By / January 16, 2009

"Who’s going to play you in the movie?"

Yesterday, I wrote about The Red Leather Diary movie. "Meryl Streep," Florence answers for who she would like to see as her. "Scarlett Johansson for young Florence or for me," I say.

Of course, I’d love to play myself. From the moment I stepped out of my building at 98 Riverside Drive when I was 22 and encountered Titanic treasure- a dumpster filled with old steamer trunks, among them a crumbling diary, kept my a precocious and sexually adventurous teenager named Florence Wolfson growing up in New York during the Depression, it was like finding a message in a bottle. I climbed up, and into what felt like my own movie. Can you see it?

FADE IN

EXT. 98 RIVERSIDE DRIVE — EARLY MORNING

Old steamer trunks are hauled by TWO BUILDING ENGINEERS to a waiting dumpster from the basement of a prewar building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Camera follows on one mysterious battered chest on its journey from its longtime resting place to the dumpster.

FLASHBACK:

EXT. 98RIVERSIDE DRIVE — NIGHT

Three months earlier. Panorama of New York City from the Lower East Side through Central Park.

Racing in front of the traffic lights, changing block after block to red, the SCREECH of a taxi pulling up at 98 Riverside Drive, written in gold cursive on the maroon awning.

LILY, early 20’s, hiply disheveled, duffle in tow, steps out.

EXT. 98 RIVERSIDE DRIVE — NIGHT

She looks up at the address.

INT. 98 RIVERSIDE DRIVE LOBBY — NIGHT

She walks in and stops,enveloped by the old New York mood enveloping her in the red marble walls and ceiling. She observes it all with an I-love-it-already expression. A DOORMAN looksat her curiously as if she were a vision from the past–or the future.

Lily Koppel, author of The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal, is guest blogging on Jewcy, and she’ll be here all week. Stay tuned.

The RedLeather Diary paperback hits bookstores on January 20. Come see it for yourself. Please join me for the paperback release party at the 92YTribeca (notyour grandma’s Y), 200 Hudson Street, at 7:30pm on Thursday, January 22.Tickets include a Sloe Gin Fizz, a throwback to the flapper era. Reserve your tickets here. Come in costume. The private eye who helped me track down Florence will be there in his trench coat and houndstooth hat.