4–19-08 High­line Ball­room, New York, NY poster by Chris Shaw

4/19/08 Moonalice poster by Chris ShawApril 19, 2008 High­line Ball­room, New York, New York
Moon­al­ice poster by Chris Shaw

Accord­ing to Moon­al­ice leg­end, Man­hat­tan Island has been a major cen­ter of tribal activ­ity going back a mil­len­nium or two. Of course Moon­al­ice was but one of many tribes that inhab­ited the New York area, but the records of Moon­al­ice influ­ence are wide­spread. The con­ven­tional trans­la­tion of man­hat­tan from the Lenape lan­guage is “island of many hills,” but the Ency­clo­pe­dia of New York and Wikipedia sug­gest a range of more likely alter­na­tives. Our favorite comes from the Mun­see dialect of Lenape, where the word man­a­hachtanienk means “place of gen­eral ine­bri­a­tion.” This is con­sis­tent with the Moon­al­ice trans­la­tion of man­hat­tan, “place where prodi­gious amounts of hemp are con­sumed.” We would also point out that the orig­i­nal Euro­pean set­tlers in New York were Dutch. They called the place New Ams­ter­dam, sug­gest­ing that they under­stood the value of hemp. Is it pos­si­ble that the cur­rent Dutch enthu­si­asm for hemp prod­ucts orig­i­nated in the new world, rather than the other way round? Do you really need to ask?

We note that April 19 is Bicy­cle Day. We’re not mak­ing this up. On April 19, 1943, Dr. Albert Hof­mann did his first exper­i­ment with LSD. He took 250 mil­ligrams, after which he had some dif­fi­culty speak­ing, so he asked his col­league to escort him home on a bicy­cle. That’s when things got really inter­est­ing. Hav­ing sur­vived a few hours of ter­ror, Dr. Hof­mann began to expe­ri­ence feel­ings of “good for­tune and grat­i­tude.” He started to enjoy the hal­lu­ci­na­tions. He noticed that sounds had visual man­i­fes­ta­tions. He hung out for hours, feel­ing very good about things and even­tu­ally fell asleep. While the rela­tion­ship of Bicy­cle Day to Moon­al­ice or New York City eludes us, the anec­dote explains the enthu­si­asm in some com­mu­ni­ties for April 19. But wait! There’s more!!! On this date in 1927, Mae West was sen­tenced to 10 days in jail for obscen­ity in a play called, “Sex.” Imag­ine that. Exactly a year later, the 125th and final install­ment of the Oxford Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary was pub­lished. And this year, Moon­al­ice and Tea Leaf Green played at the Highline.




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