October 7, 2012 by dontbringlulubook
The life and times of New York City had a lasting impact for the Onions family. When Ron was sent to the Big Apple for the BBC, nobody in the family really knew how much all their lives would be influenced.
He became the BBC’s first news organiser in New York, based at the Rockefeller Centre. Ron, Doris and Sarah lived in an apartment in Manhattan – Lulu was being cared for in a residential school, albeit 400 miles away from the rest of her family.
‘Don’t Bring Lulu’ recounts some of their time in America and their experienced in New York – rarely would you come across such a vibrant and multicultural city, with around 800 different languages spoken. Nor would you expect to find yourself sharing an elevator with such legends as Frank Sinatra.
The City of New York is the most populated within the boundaries of the United States of America. It stands on the edge of one of the world’s largest natural harbours. Immigrants entering her waters are greeted by the sight of the iconic Statue of Liberty.
The origins of this settlement date back to 1624 with the founding of a trading post by Dutch colonists. Two years later it was named New Amsterdam. This name lasted for just under 40 years and changed to New York in 1664 following the transfer of power to English rule and the lands of New Amsterdam given to the King’s brother – the Duke of York.
Pre-colonial times, the area now occupied by New York was inhabited by Native Americans of the Algonquian tribes.
Early European explorers would visit the shores – first documented European was in 1524. The Hudson River, however, got its name from a visit by English explorer Henry Hudson in 1609. He was looking for the Northwest Passage to the Orient and named the waterway North River.
The importance of this region continued to grow; immigrants, trade, business, entertainment. People flock in their millions to visit Broadway, Times Square, the numerous skyscrapers and parks, Chinatown, and gaze at Wall Street.
New York City, New York State – in the words of Gerard Kenny, 1978 ‘so good, they named it twice’.