Novel New York
by Jessica Allen, 04/01/2014
The Pond in Central Park. Photo: Julienne Schaer
The Catcher in the Rye
Published in 1951, The Catcher in the Rye has influenced generations of teenagers, who see in Holden Caulfield a reflection of their own struggles with identity, sexuality, angst and just plain ol' growing up. To experience the world through Holden's eyes, begin at the Pond in Central Park, contemplating, as Holden did, where the ducks go during winter (answer: they generally stay right where they are, sometimes huddling together for warmth). Continue musing as you make your way to the Central Park Zoo, to which Holden's sister follows him, and afterward the carousel, where Holden finds joy watching his younger sister ride. You might find a similar rapture gawking at the zoo's frolicking monkeys or the cavorting sea lions. From this crossroads, you have a few choices: you can head south to catch a show or tour at Radio City Music Hall, where Holden kills time watching the Rockettes perform and then stays for a movie, or you can cross the park and move north to the American Museum of Natural History, where Holden wanders around and reminisces about his childhood. Midtown no longer boasts the cheap drugstores at which Holden scarfs down many swiss cheese sandwiches and malted milks, but you can eat in fine style at the newly refurbished Grand Central Oyster Bar, the restaurant near where Holden chats up some nuns over breakfast and, later, spends the night.