Love, Haight, and Tie Dye

Diane Helentjaris
7 min readMay 20, 2021

A lasting legacy from the ‘60s

Tie-dye fabric, Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“The heepies lived here.” My Russian landlord paused to make sure I understood.

“What? Oh, the hippies.”

“Yes, the heepies. Crazy colors on everything when we bought this. Psychedelic. My brothers and my father and I had to paint it all.”

The Russians had done a good job of returning the San Francisco Victorian to its original elegance. Three-stories high, the Haight Street apartment building opened to views of Buena Vista Park on the north. The views from the south, where my dining room bay window was, looked out over the city, Golden Gate Park, and on toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Fog horns sounded, a comfort during the night.

My landlord’s twin brother also lived on the top floor with a high school buddy. Another brother lived on the second floor with his wife, a histologist. Born in China, the family fled to Brazil where they picked up a love of samba before joining San Francisco’s robust Russian community. Hard workers, managing the apartment building was their second job. We became good friends.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.



Diane Helentjaris

Writer with a love of the overlooked. Author of the historical fiction novel The Indenture of Ivy O’Neill,