Denver, United States
Karissa, 30
Teacher: Yoga & 1st grade
see her Denver city guide

a bit about Karissa

What do you do and why do you do it?

I am a 1st grade teacher and a yoga teacher. I truly believe that education is the greatest force for changing people's lives and the world. Whether I am teaching my little kiddos to read or teaching my adult students about improving their health through physical practice and meditation, I know that each moment of my professional day is well spent.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?

Housekeeping was pretty terrible. I loved everyone I worked with and it certainly taught me to have a strong work ethic, but at the end of the day scrubbing toilets and cleaning up other people's shower mess just plain sucks.

Were you born and raised in Denver? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Denver?

I grew up in Texas but spent my teenage summers working on a ranch in Estes Park. I fell in love with Colorado during those summers and knew I wanted to live here someday! A few years ago my husband got a job offer in Denver, so we packed up our life in Austin and moved! It's been the best decision we ever made.

What’s your current hood in Denver and what’s the best/worst thing about it?

I live in Olde Town Arvada, which is awesome because it still has the charm of the original town but is also extremely convenient in terms of access to downtown and proximity to the mountains. The worst thing is that they are currently doing safety tests for a new light rail line here, so the test trains are blowing their horns at all hours of the day and night.

What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?

I listen to a lot of singer-songwriter, alternative rock and old school pop/swing. I can't stand overly aggressive EDM or metal.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer on repeat. It's the ultimate song for when you still care about someone but you know it's just never going to work out.

Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?

Friends may be a cliche answer but I still love that show. The episodes are funny no matter how many times I watch them! It's the perfect show to have on in the background while cooking or doing laundry. Parks & Rec and 30 Rock have the best cast chemistry. The actors play off of each other so well, they keep me in stitches!

Name some spots in Denver that are good for a Tinder date.

Linger is a great spot because they have unique food and cocktails, plus an epic rooftop and free valet parking in an area where parking can be expensive/hard to find. Little Man Ice Cream is right next door, so if the date is going well you have an easy place to extend your conversation. Avanti is a great spot if you're not sure about your date's taste. They have several different food stalls with everything from pizza to ramen.

Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).

Kim Kardashian. There's just so much material there, I feel like the jokes could write themselves.

Who’s your hero and where in Denver would you take them out for a serious hang?

Neil deGrasse Tyson! I would take him to the incredible Denver Museum of Nature and Science (every nerd's dream) and then to Sienna Wine Bar in Congress Park. They have a great wine selection but it's a small enough place that you can have a deep conversations about, say, dark matter and the future of our planet. Maybe I could convince him to bring along Bill Nye... wishful thinking?

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

LOFT is my go-to for professional clothes, but when I want something special I go to Vouna in Olde Town Arvada. Antonia, the owner, has the best selection of clothes and jewelry that are all made in America by small designers. Everything I own from her store attracts compliments and I feel great about supporting small businesses!

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

East Colfax after dark.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

I love going to Civic Center EATS but I almost never make it over there! From May-October all of the best food trucks in Denver gather at Civic Center on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to provide a community lunch space with live music and beautiful views of the city.

Where do you go in Denver for a casual night out?

Broadway has a ton of great options and it's easy to walk from place to place. Punch Bowl Social, Atomic Cowboy and Sweet Action Ice Cream are some of my favorite spots.

Where would you go in Denver to celebrate some freaking good news?

Beatrice & Woodsley

What’s your choice of transportation in Denver and why?

Lightrail & bus are affordable and pretty reliable, but if you're on a tight schedule it's usually best to Lyft.

What are the Denver spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

The museum scene in Denver is excellent. The Art Museum and Museum of Nature & Science are both top notch. Red Rocks is the best place for a concert and is even open during the day just for folks to walk around and enjoy the views. If you have a car and are able to take a bit of a drive, Rocky Mountain National Park is not to be missed. Even just driving out to Boulder will give you some incredible views of the mountains. You also need to be sure to check out at least one of Denver's plentiful craft breweries/distilleries. My personal favorites are Great Divide, Mile High Spirits and Stranahan's.

What are the Denver spots tourists should run from screaming?

Casa Bonita. I know it's a tourist destination because of Southpark, but the food is truly terrible and the place has a reputation among locals as the capital of food poisoning. If you go there anyways, stick with a margarita and chips & salsa. Your stomach will thank you.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Denver. How do you spend it?

By my last day I've probably already exhausted myself with outdoor adventures and need a chill day in the city before traveling. I would start at Denver Central Market for a latte from Crema Bodega and Love Toast from Izzio. From there I would walk around RiNo to look at the street art. Jaime Molina and Pedro Barrios collaborated on a series of gorgeous pieces in that neighborhood. Then I would go to Denver's most historic block, Larimer Square, to check out the local shops. I would end my day at Union Station with some appetizers and drinks from Terminal Bar or Stoic & Genuine while waiting for the A Line train to the airport. Perfect day!

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

No matter where I go, Vancouver remains my #1. There are so few places in the world where you can snowboard, hike and go to the beach in the same day. The people there are extremely welcoming, plus they have Kokanee and poutine! All good things can be found in Vancouver.

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