For years there have been individuals that I’ve seen around town who captured my imagination. This project, Drawn From the City, became an excuse to find out about their lives through interviews, documenting the cultural life-blood of the city. – Crystal Vielula


Occupation: Tibetan Energy Healer on Animals, and girl Frida to an interior designer.

Style inspiration: Psychedelics from the '60s. All the doors that opened, you discovered new worlds, you dressed your dreams. So many people on the street were their dreams. You would trip, hallucinate at night, and the next day you’d go put an outfit together, paint it, or find it in a vintage shop. Guys did embroidery and beaded just because they were motivated to.

Do you have a favorite outfit? I have too many likes. Sometimes I do leopard and high heels, sometimes I do Mexican or Chinese or trashy, it all depends on where I’m going.

Favorite designers: Kaisik Wong of The Cockettes and Native Funk and Flash, and Sandra Rose.

Favorite neighborhood: I would have to say North Beach because it’s still got a little bit of the bohemian going on: City Lights, lots of flamenco, blues at The Saloon. You can walk everywhere, walk home late at night alone, and it’s so beautiful.

Do you have rent control in your current home? Yes

How long have you lived there? Well I didn’t have a home for three years. I got Ellis Acted off of Telegraph Hill by an artist and her husband who is the head of some wonderful non-profit foundation. She came one night when they bought the building and she said, “We like you so much and we are evicting you, we are Ellis Acting you.” In the same sentence.

How did you find the place that you’re in now? For three years I housesat, because I had wild cats I had taken in too. Friends would say “come stay with me” or “I’m going to Africa for three weeks, come stay in my house.” People were so good to me. I felt like Sleeping Beauty; the bad witch comes and curses her and the good fairy comes in and says, “No, no not dead, just sleeping for 100 years.” I just keep on looking and walking around and talking and doing energy work. I ended up finding this place where I never thought that I would live; it has no character, no personality, but it has a heated outdoor swimming pool that hardly no one else uses. I have been there 9 ½ years.

Favorite places in the city: Zam Zam in the Haight and the Japanese Tea Garden.

Check back in next Tuesday for more Drawn from the City.

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