What a 16-year-old notices

What a 16-year-old notices

On Catcher in the Rye as a guide to the city, or at least one that was:

I wouldn’t say it’s a cross section of New York, but it’s a cross section of what a kid like that who grew up in New York would be interested in doing,” said Peter G. Beidler, the author of “A Reader’s Companion to J. D. Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’” …. “A 40-year-old man walking around New York would see different things. But he describes the things a 16-year-old would notice.

For example:

Salinger started with Pennsylvania Station — 58 pages after promising not to tell “where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like,” Holden Caulfield alights there and heads for a phone booth. A 16-year-old taking the train to New York nowadays would arrive in a different, less inspired place: Holden was in McKim, Mead & White’s extraordinary station, the one whose destruction in the 1960s kindled the historic preservation movement.

As for where the Central Park ducks go in winter, the question asked on page 60:

I would have told him that the ducks don’t go anywhere in winter.

Smart. New York is, after all, sort of most delightful when you have to work hard to enjoy it.