Welcome to the TheBookItList, where you can explore the adventures of your favorite characters in the world today. Select a book from the list below to find the actual places the characters experienced and follow them on their path.

The Goldfinch

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Buy The Goldfinch here!

“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.”

– Donna Tartt

New York City 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art “The Met”

The Met, the backbone of this whole story. This museum in New York City was one of which Theo and his mother loved to visit. Theo experienced life changing events here: the explosion that took his mother, and he obtained the painting, The Goldfinch.

Today, you can visit The Met in New York’s Upper East Side at 1000 Fifth Avenue. There are over 2 million works, so plan to spend at least half of your day here. Admission is $25 for adults and $12 for students. Be sure to visit the European paintings on the 2nd floor to get a glimpse of where Theo may have stood when the bomb went off. 

St. Marks Place

Head to St. Marks Place in New York’s East Village to follow Theo’s tracks when he was searching for a “fix,” and instead of finding drugs, ran into Boris! So many years after their last encounter in Las Vegas. 

Today, you can visit the street, St. Marks Place in the East Village. This is part of East 8th street that runs between 3rd Ave and Ave A. This street is bursting with its gritty and authentic culture with tons of different shops, bars and restaurants.  Take a look at NYCGO’s guide to St. Mark’s Place and spend a few hours exploring the street and the many treasures it holds. 

Las Vegas

The Venetian and Lavo Restaurant

Head to the strip in Las Vegas to experience the same amazement that Boris and Theo felt when visiting The Venetian, as Theo’s father took them to dinner for Christmas. In the novel, Theo tells us “dad made reservations for us at a fancy, oak-panelled Italian restaurant – the outpost of its more famous sister restaurant in New York.” I have to assume they are referring to Lavo. For a similar extravagant meal to Theo’s, try ordering the Jumbo Asparagus, Roasted Chilean Sea Bass, Steaks and Chops and some Gelati. If you are able to make it to New York City, head over to Lavo on East 58th street and indulge in some of the same delicious Italian cuisine. 

Amsterdam

Hotel Ambassade

If you’re like me who always looks for more, even when the story is finished, you probably have read Donna Tartt’s “Thanks To:” at the end of the book. In her last sentence, she thanks the staff at the Hotel Abassade. Not much more information is provided, but since part of the book takes place in Amsterdam, I find it reasonable to think she may have stayed at that hotel for inspiration about Amsterdam. 

Today, you can visit and stay at the hotel at Herengracht 341 in Amsterdam’s “Nine Streets” area. Head to the Library Bar where you will find a collection of over 5000 books that are signed by authors that have stayed at this hotel. Who knows, maybe The Goldfinch will be there! 

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Theo on The Goldfinch

1 thought on “The Goldfinch”

  1. gotta mention the “suggested price” at the met! it provides admission to the museum at any price (I think as low as a quarter actually). It’s kinda F’d doing that as an adult or even an adolescent, but I say taking the time to see a breath of knowledge is invaluable and money can be tight sometimes. So I think of it as “paying it forward” with the small donation when your young, and with a big donation when we all win the lotto.

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