Aerial View of New York City
Aerial View of New York City

Holden is frequently on the move, whether it would be leaving his prep school in Pennsylvania
or wandering the streets of New York City.


  • New York City
  • Penn Station
  • Grand Central Station
  • Central Park
  • Central Park Zoo
  • Central Park Carousel
  • The Pond at Central Park
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Ice Rink at Rockefeller Plaza
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Broadway
  • Greenwich Village
  • 5th Avenue
  • Edmont Hotel
  • Seton Hotel
  • Pencey Prep
  • 71st and 5th
  • Sutton Place
  • Why does Salinger reference to all these real life places?
  • Interactive Map

New York City
The sixth most populous metropolitan area in the world , located on America’s east coast. Located between the states of New Jersey and Connecticut. Most of The Catcher in the Rye takes place in New York.

Penn Station

Originally known as Pennsylvania Center, Penn Station is a major intercity train and rail station in New York City. Served by Amtrak trains. Penn station is the first place that Holden was in, in New York. When he got off he started thinking about all the people that he could call, but didn't end up calling anyone.

Grand Central Station
The main train station in New York, a old building back from 1913. After Holden checked out of his hotel, he left all his stuff at a locker in Grand Central.

Central Park
A large public park located in the heart of NYC, visited by over 25 million domestic and international visitors every year. Holden went there after getting his tickets to the Lunt’s show and he started complaining about how dirty and unpleasant it was there.

Central Park Zoo
A fairly small zoo located in Central Park, NY. The Central Park Zoo was not originally planned to be located in Central Park, yet it was evolved into a shelter for exotic pets in 1859. Holden and Phoebe walk through here before they go to the carousel.

Central Park Carousel
Located in the very middle of Central Park, the carousel is of high symbolism in the novel as it represents the opposite of life, as where a carousel represents life being repetitive, and Holden’s theory of life is dynamic.

The Pond at Central Park
Located in the southern corner of Central Park, NYC, the pond is very symbolical in the novel “Catcher in the Rye.” The pond in the novel is a kind of metaphor as the world Holden sees it as; half frozen and half normal, as if the world was constantly in two various states.

Rockefeller Center

A complex of 19 commercial buildings, located between 48th and 51st street. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. That is where the Radio City Hall is located and where Holden went Ice-Skating with Sally.

Ice Rink at Rockefeller Plaza
Located in Rockefeller Plaza, the ice rink is one of the largest entertainments for new yorkers during the winter season. The ice rink is the place where Holden went with Sally to after he spent the day with her. He thought that the only reason why they went there was because Sally wanted to show off in her mini-skirt in front of everyone.

Radio City Music Hall
Part of Rockefeller Center, a city landmark now, It was opened in 1932 as an entertainment center and still is to this day. Holden talks about the girls in the club planning to go to Radio City Music Hall to see a show which depresses him. He sees a movie here before meeting Carl Luce.

A very long and famous street in New York City that goes North-South diagonally. The street is famous for its theaters. Holden buys the record "Little Shirley Beans" for Phoebe on this street.

Greenwich Village
A section of Lower Manhattan. It used to be home to a lot of artists but there are still some theaters left. It has several parks with the biggest one being Washington Square Park. Ernie’s is the club that Holden went to just like his brother did. It is located in Greenwich Village.

5th Avenue
A very famous street in New York, stretching from Washington Square to the Harlem River. It borders central park. The street has a lot of fancy and expensive shops, it was rated the most expensive street in the world in 2008 by Forbes. Holden travels along this street during his journeys in New York City.

Edmont Hotel
A fictional hotel in The Catcher in the Rye. It is probably located a couple blocks south of Central Park. In Catcher in the Rye, this is the hotel that Holden goes to when he arrives at New York.

Seton Hotel
A still existing budget hotel at 40th and Lexington. It is focused on providing international travelers a place to stay. Holden meets Carl Luce here at the bar. Carl walks out on Holden afterwards.

Pencey Prep
A boarding school located in the fictional town of Agerstown, Pennsylvania. Holden leaves here for New York City, his hometown, in the middle of the night after getting flunking out.

71st and 5th
A corner right next to central park, with an Art Reference Library right next to it. That is possibly the place where the Caulfield’s live.

Sutton Place
A very fancy part of town overlooking the East River that is two blocks long. Very famous people such as Marilyn Monroe and also wealthy people such as the daughter of J.P. Morgan lived there. In the Catcher in the Rye, Mr. Antolini’s apartment is there, which Holden describes as “swanky” or in other words, wealthy and luxurious.

Why does Salinger reference all of these real life places?
Salinger uses all of these real life places in order to allow the reader to refer to the often well known places described in the novel. This creates a realistic setting, which in turn helps the reader understand his teenage problems. If one was to focus only on the setting as they read the book, they would notice possible patterns, often mentioned places or at least a good idea of where the plot may be taking place. In “Catcher in the Rye”, it is important for the reader to understand certain tradition, culture or typical things that Holden would due that usually may or may not be considered common to some readers. Mainly, Salinger uses all these real life places in order for the reader to comprehend Holden’s certain actions and characteristics, so readers actually believe that Holden may or may not be based on a real life person.

Interactive Map

Order of Visiting:

Penn Station
Edmont Hotel
Greenwich Village
Grand Central
Central Park
Museum of Natural History
Ice Rink
Seton Hotel
71st and 5th
The Duck Pond
Sutton Place
Grand Central