Exploring The Catcher in the Rye

[fence around carrousel] A Catcher in the Rye Photo Tour
Mainly New York City in December 1999: 50 years after the story

This tour covers a subset of the album.

"(more)" links go to essays in the album. (The essays don't generally include more information about the physical facts of things.)

"(about)" links go to pages with a little more information, along with the photo of the link next to it.


From School to New York City

A 1948 ad (p. 2) for Valley Forge Military Academy (www.vfmac.edu), a school J.D. Salinger went to, which is believed to be the basis for Pencey Prep. (more)

Holden's circle of acquaintances included people who went to these prestigious schools:
    Andover (p. 127-8, 151) www.andover.edu
    Choate (p. 135) www.choate.edu
    Columbia (p. 136, 144) www.columbia.edu (located N.W. of Central Park)
    Harvard (p. 106) www.harvard.edu
    Princeton (p. 63-4, 85) www.princeton.edu
    West Point (p. 106) www.usma.edu
    Yale (p. 85) www.yale.edu

He and the Antolinis used to frequently play tennis at the West Side Tennis Club (http://www.foresthillstennis.com), in Forest Hills, Long Island (p. 180-1).

Holden and Phoebe liked some movies, such as (p. 67-8, 162-3):
(links are imdb entries)
    Steps, The 39
    The Baker's Wife
    The Doctor

D.B. and Allie liked Emily Dickinson (p. 140) (offsite link: http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/edisindex.html)
Holden remembered playing checkers with Jane. (p. 31-2)
He had Gladstone bags (p. 53). They are like carpet bags, only made of leather.
He took a a NY-PN train to New York (p. 53-8). This one was at Penn Station.

partial map of Art Museum map of Central Park Zoo map of Rockefeller Center New York City

Penn Station (p. 59)
Penn station was demolished in the 1960's. It was classical, with high Roman arches. It is now a plain place. It is located between Seventh and Eighth avenues, between 31st and 33rd streets, under Madison Square Garden. (more)
    Photo from the demolition
    The present main area
    The old departures board (about)
    The taxi tunnel (about)

The New Yorker Hotel
This was the sort of hotel that Holden looked for (p. 60-1). It is at 481 Eighth Ave, at 34th St. and has a public, 1950's themed, restaurant. As far as I know, there is no Edmont Hotel, where Holden stayed in the book, but the New Yorker does have a number of windows looking out at other parts of it, like the Edmont did.

(Greenwich Village is way south. I didn't get any photos. Pages 80-7.)

Sidewalk Charity Collectors are plentiful during the holiday season. (p. 109-110,114.)

Central Park www.centralparknyc.org
    A postcard of east Central Park
    The band shell, is in the park, almost directly west of his home. (p. 118)

    Benches (p. 118, 154):
        groovy, prevalent benches
        benches along Fifth Avenue
(for more Central Park stops, see ducks, zoo, and carrousel)

American Museum of Natural History (p. 119-122) http://www.amnh.org
It is just west of the park, on Eighth Avenue, between 77th and 81st streets.

Holden and Sally went to a matinee on Broadway (p. 106, 123-8), but I didn't take any photos of Broadway.

Then they went skating at Rockefeller Center (p. 128-134). Sally said "at Radio City," which is very near by (more).
    Map and description of Rockefeller Center

Holden went to a terrible movie at Radio City Music Hall, which is at 51st street and Avenue of the Americas. (p. 75, 137-40). http://www.radiocity.com

A Madison Avenue bus, in midtown. (p. 130, 133, 153)

Ducks in the Central Park South Pond (p. 13, 60, 81, 153)
There were quite a few ducks there. (more):
    Ducks, from the path on the north of the pond in central park
    Ducks and pond, closer
(Not mentioned in the book, but there are quite a few fat, gray squirrels in the park as well.)

The Apartment (p. 156-180)
The Caulfields lived in an apartment on the 12th or 13th floor on 71st Street, with at least one view of Fifth Avenue (pg. 67, 88, and 118). Three East Seventy First Street fits the bill excellently. (more)
    The 12th and 13th floors
    The entrance

(Swanky Madison Avenue is just one block east of the apartment building, but I didn't get any photos.)

Grand Central Station (p. 107, 194, 208) http://www.grandcentralterminal.com
Located east of Madison Avenue, on 42nd street (barely on the map here, unfortunately). It has been beautifully restored, the photos don't do it justice. The old waiting room is now used for artisans and special events. The benches from it are scattered around the station. Many can be found down stairs in cafés. I happened on an excellent tour and joined it. Payment was at the conclusion, and it was voluntary.
    Exterior, on 42nd street
    Inside the main terminal, a view from a side balcony. Notice the wreaths.
    A bench.
    Drawing of the old waiting room. (about)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (p. 200, 202-5) http://www.metmuseum.org
Entrance is on Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street. Suggested donation at entry: ten dollars. It is a giant museum full of an amazing art collection.
    View of Fifth Avenue from the stone steps (about)
    relevant map

Central Park Zoo (p. 209-210)
The zoo is in Central Park south, on the east side. (There is a marked entrance on Fifth Avenue, at 64th, but that isn't the only way to get there.) Entrance: $3.50. Sea lion feeding times: 11:30 A.M., 2 P.M., and 4 P.M.
    relevant map
    Sea Lion area (no sea lions in sight, unfortunately)
    Polar Bear, from the top of the hill

The Carrousel in Central Park South (p. 210-3)
Located about along the line that 64th street would cut across Central Park South, about half the way across the park. The current carrousel replaced the previous one, which would be the one in the book, because it burned down in 1950. The current carrousel was originally built in 1908. It has no gold ring. Rides cost one dollar. (more)
    The carrousel is housed in its own little building
    Decorative fence on the building
    Carrousel horses
    Some odd, amusing decorations around the top

Links on the map go to the other maps.

This map is based on a 1990 National Geographic map of New York City. However, the locations of the band shell and carrousel are based on a map at www.centralpark.com (now a broken link).

Suzanne Morine

Last Update: 17 August 2001