March 20, 2009

Poe In Da Bronx

Alright-maybe that's not the most politically correct headline. But it is true--and I have photos to prove it. You see, yesterday I was on my way yesterday to the fancy & newish Bronx Library for the 5-Borough Reading of NYC Teen Author Week. As I emerged from a long D-train ride from W. 4th Street, I saw this cute little cottage sandwiched between the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road.It looked so incongruous sitting there in the middle of the major intersection in the Bronx, almost like Dorothy's house when it drops into Oz. Well, it turns out this little house on the Concourse had some serious literary history behind it. Edgar Allan Poe spent his final years there after fleeing the filth and chaos of Greenwich Village as it was doing no favors for his ill wife and his own melancholy temperament. In fact, Poe's village pad was just a few blocks from my place until NYU tore it down a few years ago and put up a plaque. Lame!

Unfortunately, the Poe house is closed right now but, as I learned at the Bronx Historical Society's website, they are building a new visitor center opening later this year. So I'll have to make a return trip as Poe is one of my all-time favorite authors. My first screenplay was an adaptation of his short story THE PREMATURE BURIAL (creeeeepy), which starred Alan Alda and Faye least in my 13-year old mind. The movie never went into production, sadly...but maybe I should pitch it now that horror is huge. Alda is too old and Faye looks too weird. So who are the Alan and Faye of today? How 'bout Jon Hamm and Julia Roberts. I smell a blockbuster.