[media-credit name="Photo by Clayton Patterson " align="aligncenter" width="600"]
- Dana Beal, left, and Michael McKenna, the Yippie! Cafe’s manager, during Beal’s recent visit at 9 Bleecker St.
Prison blues: It looks like Yippie icon Dana Beal unfortuntaely will be spending another year in the slammer. Last time we spoke to him he said it sounded like he was going to get out after serving almost a year for twice getting caught hauling pot cross-country in a van for what he said was purely medical use. “I thought I was off,” he told us, adding it’s not the first time his lawyer misread what was happening. “They know it was medical marijuana. They just don’t want to admit that it’s a vendetta,” Beal said speaking last week. He was in town briefly visiting his Yippie H.Q. at 9 Bleecker St., home of the Yippie! Cafe, and had to head back out to Wisconsin the next day, where his first trial is wrapping up. Eventually, he said, he’d either also go to Nebraska to stand trial, or hopefully just do that one by mail. The Wisconsin bust was Beal’s second, while he was on probation for the Nebraska one. “It’s hurting a lot of people,” Beal said of his being unable to fulfill his prior duties as a self-described “angel” delivering curative cannabis to the sick. The legalization advocate said he wished he had letters of support by Desmond Tutu and Bonoto get him out, but, oh well… . Two months ago, Beal had open heart surgery after he had a heart attack as he was about to be moved to a bigger prison. Now that’s he’s recovered a bit, the court has told him he has to return for his sentencing. What’s really worrying him, though, is that both his dad and his mother’s dad died of strokes at age 65 — and he’s 65, and being in lockup won’t exactly help. Medical marijuana would, he noted, but of course he can’t get it in jail. Ironically, Beal said, by the time he is sprung, “I might come back to find that medical marijuana is legal in New York.”
Chupi watch: So is Julian Schnabel repainting his Palazzo Chupi in Pompei Red, or what? The scaffolding is there, all the way to the top of the distinctive, retro Venetian W. 11th St. building. Westbeth photographer / artist Toni Dalton, who has a view of the place from her window, is keeping us posted. “They’re still plastering and scraping and doing the windows,” she reported. “I look every day. Believe me, I will let you know.”
Getting straight: Meanwhile, down in Hudson Square, Rip Hayman, the owner of the historic John Brown House that has the Ear Inn bar on its bottom floor, said it’s taking some effort adjusting to the place’s new look: After the recent renovation, all the formerly bowed floors, walls and ceilings are, well…straight! While sipping a pint at the place the other night, he smiled and quipped, “We’ll survive.”