Walking With Holden Caulfield Around Manhattan

You can walk around New York City with Holden Caulfield (as he did in The Catcher in the Rye) via a New York Times article and map.

Drop by Ernie's nightclub in The Village. You can go to the Edmont Hotel and look for Sunny the hooker. Try to figure out what happens to the Central Park ducks in winter. See if Mr. Antolini still lives over there on Sutton Place. Meet Luce for a drink at the Wicker Bar on 54th. See if your date shows up by the clock at the Biltmore. Go all the way north to Phoebe's school.

Okay, so now the Biltmore is an office building. And Ernie's existed only in the imaginations of J.D. Salinger and his readers. But Jerry must have had some real club in mind.

I used to have my students create maps for novels we read. Excellent problem-solving activity. For example, how do we know where Holden met Sunny? Peter G. Beidler, the author of  "A Reader's Companion to J.D. Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye'", did the same kind of activity. He figures that it's the Edmont in the West 50s, between Fifth Avenue and what is now officially known as the Avenue of the Americas (Holden would have known it as Sixth Avenue). How did he determine this?
“Because it is in this hotel that Holden sees ‘perverts’ and later encounters a pimp and a prostitute,” Mr. Beidler wrote, “it is likely that Salinger did not want to use the name of a real hotel.” But he gave a clue: He said it was “41 gorgeous blocks” from Ernie’s nightclub in Greenwich Village. Ernie’s, too, was a made-up place.
By the way - about those ducks - Sara Miller, the historian for the Central Park Conservancy, says that the ducks never go anywhere. They hang out all winter.

Read Salinger:
The Catcher in the Rye
Nine Stories
Franny and Zooey
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction
The Complete Uncollected Stories of J.D. Salinger

The opening of Catcher, and Holden in a snowglobe.

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