Catcher… In The Eye

“There isn’t an official Holden’s Haunts map,” writes Deborah Geigis Berry in her Travel story for the Courant. Decades later, though, New York City locations experienced by Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye can still be visited.

-Photographs by Mark Mirko

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2013.04.24 – New York City, NY – Times Square between Broadway and 7th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

“Broadway was mobbed and messy. It was Sunday, and only about twelve o’clock, but it was mobbed anyway. Everybody was on their way to the movies–the Paramount or the Astor or the Strand or the Capitol or one of those crazy places. Everybody was all dressed up, because it was Sunday, and that made it worse. But the worst part was that you could tell they all wanted to go to the movies. I couldn’t stand looking at them. I can understand somebody going to the movies because there’s nothing else to do, but when somebody really wants to go, and even walks fast so as to get there quicker, then it depresses hell out of me. Especially if I see millions of people standing in one of those long, terrible lines, all the way down the block, waiting with this terrific patience for seats and all. Boy, I couldn’t get off that goddam Broadway fast enough.”

. . .

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2013.04.24 – New York City, NY – Nikolay Karpuchok, a 21-year-old barista at D’Espresso near Grand Central Station shows the tattoo he got in Russia when, as a 17-year-old he was, “dreaming about coming to New York City.” Karpuchok came by himself to New York in 2010 and now lives and works as a musician named DJ Russian Nick.

“She was always reading, and she read very good books. She read a lot of poetry and all. She was the only one, outside my family, that I ever showed Allie’s baseball mitt to, with all the poems written on it.”

. . .

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2013.04.24 – New York City, NY – A visitor to the Metropolitan Museum of Art walks between a wall of glass and a reflecting pond in the museum’s section of Egyptian art.

“To get to where the mummies were, you had to go down this very narrow sort of hall with stones on the side that they’d taken right out of this Pharaoh’s tomb and all. It was pretty spooky, and you could tell the two hot-shots I was with weren’t enjoying it too much. They stuck close as hell to me, and the one that didn’t talk at all practically was holding onto my sleeve. “Let’s go,” he said to his brother. “I seen ‘em awreddy. C’mon, hey.” He turned around and beat it.”

. . .

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2013.04.24 – New York City, NY – Using a circa-1970 Polaroid camera, Jessica Palmer, a painter and animator from Toronto, makes photographs of the Temple of Dendur in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit of ancient Egyptian Art.

“Finally we found the place where the mummies were, and we went in. “You know how the Egyptians buried their dead?” I asked the one kid. “Naa.” “Well, you should. It’s very interesting. They wrapped their faces up in these cloths that were treated with some secret chemical. That way they could be buried in their tombs for thousands of years and their faces wouldn’t rot or anything. Nobody knows how to do it except the Egyptians. Even modern science.”"

. . .

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2013.04.24 – New York City, NY – A taxi heads south on Fifth Avenue as seen from the back seat of a cab.

“We got to the Edmont Hotel, and I checked in. I’d put on my red hunting cap when I was in the cab, just for the hell of it, but I took it off before I checked in. I didn’t want to look like a screwball or something. Which is really ironic. I didn’t know then that the goddam hotel was full of perverts and morons. Screwballs all over the place.”

. . .

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2013.04.24 – New York City, NY – A Louis C.K. poster rides under passengers aboard a northbound Broadway bus.

“”I said no, there wouldn’t be marvelous places to go to after I went to college and all. Open your ears. It’d be entirely different. We’d have to go downstairs in elevators with suitcases and stuff. We’d have to phone up everybody and tell ‘em good-by and send ‘em postcards from hotels and all. And I’d be working in some office, making a lot of dough, and riding to work in cabs and Madison Avenue buses, and reading newspapers, and playing bridge all the time, and going to the movies and seeing a lot of stupid shorts and coming attractions and newsreels. Newsreels. Christ almighty. There’s always a dumb horse race, and some dame breaking a bottle over a ship, and some chimpanzee riding a goddam bicycle with pants on. It wouldn’t be the same at all. You don’t see what I mean at all.”"

. . .

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2013.04.24 – New York City, NY – A window across 50th street from Radio City Music Hall reflects the theater’s neon lights.

“I don’t like any shows very much, if you want to know the truth. They’re not as bad as movies, but they’re certainly nothing to rave about. In the first place, I hate actors. They never act like people. They just think they do. Some of the good ones do, in a very slight way, but not in a way that’s fun to watch. And if any actor’s really good, you can always tell he knows he’s good, and that spoils it.”

. . .

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2013.04.24 – New York City, NY – Endeavoring to creat an archive of Central Park scenes “to make people more aware of the role that artists and writers have in the park’s development,” New York City artist Annamarie Trombetta paints a Central Park tunnel.

“After we left the bears, we left the zoo and crossed over this little street in the park, and then we went through one of those little tunnels that always smell from somebody’s taking a leak. It was on the way to the carrousel. Old Phoebe still wouldn’t talk to me or anything, but she was sort of walking next to me now. I took a hold of the belt at the back of her coat, just for the hell of it, but she wouldn’t let me. She said, “Keep your hands to yourself, if you don’t mind.” She was still sore at me. But not as sore as she was before. Anyway, we kept getting closer and closer to the carrousel and you could start to hear that nutty music it always plays. It was playing “Oh, Marie!” It played that same song about fifty years ago when I was a little kid. That’s one nice thing about carrousels, they always play the same songs.”

. . .

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2013.04.24 – New York City, NY – A window across 50th street from Radio City Music Hall reflects pedestrians and the theater’s neon lights.

“I kept walking and walking, and it kept getting darker and darker and spookier and spookier. I didn’t see one person the whole time I was in the park. I’m just as glad. I probably would’ve jumped about a mile if I had.”

. . .

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2013.04.24 – New York City, NY – A pedestrian walks over a series of portraits pasted to the sidewalk in Times Square as part of a collaborative art project by photographer JR.

“He was walking in the street, instead of on the sidewalk, but right next to the curb. He was making out like he was walking a very straight line, the way kids do, and the whole time he kept singing and humming. I got up closer so I could hear what he was singing. He was singing that song, “If a body catch a body coming through the rye.”"

. . .

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2013.04.24 – New York City, NY – Street musician Sweet Lew plays on a street corner in Times Square. “This is my spot since the ’80′s,” he says, “Before all of this… I was here.”

“The sonuvabitch could whistle better than anybody I ever heard. He’d be making his bed, or hanging up stuff in the closet–he was always hanging up stuff in the closet–it drove me crazy–and he’d be whistling while he did it, if he wasn’t talking in this raspy voice. He could even whistle classical stuff, but most of the time he just whistled jazz. He could take something very jazzy, like “Tin Roof Blues,” and whistle it so nice and easy–right while he was hanging stuff up in the closet–that it could kill you. “

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3 Responses to Catcher… In The Eye

  1. steve miller says:

    Nice job Mark. Lots of fun pictures.

  2. Ayaz says:

    Mark, These photos are fantastic! Makes me want to go myself.
    Ayaz