Denver, United States
Kelly, 29
Philanthropy Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy
see her Denver city guide

a bit about Kelly

What do you do and why do you do it?

I currently work at an environmental organization focused on protecting land and water in Colorado and across the globe. I've always felt very passionate about the environment and having the opportunity to protect it each and every day is amazing!

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

I was a receptionist at a start-up company and was NOT a fan. My biggest reason for disliking it was because a lot of people didn't respect the role and didn't treat me like an equal. However - it was a great experience for me because I will always be grateful for the men and women who serve in that role. It's harder than you might think!

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

I was born in State College, Pennsylvania - a small college town in Central PA, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions. After living there for 23 years (K-12 and graduating from Penn State) I decided it was time for a change. While a lot of my friends were heading to New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, etc. I knew I wanted somewhere new and different. The mountains were calling and I decided I needed to go. I found myself in Denver and have been thrilled to live here ever since!

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

I live in Historic Baker (the second oldest neighborhood in Denver) and am obsessed with it. I always say it's the perfect amount of grunge. The best part - it feels like a residential neighborhood - away from the grind of the city - while still providing access to all of the great things Denver has to offer. It's right off of South Broadway which is filled with fun bars, restaurants and shops and is close to different forms of public transportation. The worst part is the rift-raft that meanders into the neighborhood from time to time but I try to view it as bringing in more character!

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

Hi Drake - will you marry me? But really, I love a wide variety of music from indie, folk, alternative, R&B and some rap. I HATE any type of screamo music. It's way too much for me!

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

There's so many! Pretty Wings by Maxwell is a go to. And there's Bittersweet Symphonies by the Verve. A little Boys II Men will get thrown in there too. I must admit though - I love and listen to these songs even when I'm not heartbroken. They're too good to only connect with heartbreak.

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

The OC - beaches, drama, hot bods - what else could you want? I proudly own the box set and it's always my go to! A rainy day outside? The OC. Hungover? The OC. Pining for the beach? The OC. In my mind, it will always be timeless! Plus... Adam Brody. Need I say more?

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

Forest Room 5 in the Highlands. It's quirks are great conversation starters - it's casual and fun.

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

I'm really not into Taylor Swift.

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

John Steinbeck and I would head to Wash Park to talk all things East of Eden.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

The Goodwill and my friend's hand-me-downs. Lucky for me, vintage and used is in right now. Denver has a great thrift scene, ranging from different price levels. I'm not embarrassed to admit you can find me at the Goodwill on South Broadway once a week. And you better believe I'm not above hiding my must have items for the 50% off everything day.

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

The bars in LoDo (lower downtown). I wasn't into "Frat Row" in college and I'm not into it now.

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

Going to shows at Red Rocks. While it's a 15 minute drive outside of town, there is nothing quite like seeing a concert at this venue. I have yet to experience a bad performance at Red Rocks. Due to seasonally limitations and the cost of going to shows, I don't get to go nearly as often as I'd like. But it's a great treat whenever I do!

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

If I'm going for a super casual night I'll head to The Irish Rover or Historians on South Broadway. Both have a great atmosphere and don't require you to dress up or get commit to a long night out. Also, the Irish Rover has $1 Taco Tuesday - yes please!

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

It's dancing time! If this good news comes in on a Friday I'm heading to Meadowlark on Larimer.

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

The lightrail! It's clean, quick and timely (goodbye traffic jams!)

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

Wash Park, Pearl Street and REI.

What are the Denver spots tourists should run from screaming?

The 16th Street Mall - stay away! You may hear it's cool, but it's not. It's extremely touristy, filled with chain restaurants and stores and lacks the unique character of the city.

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

PLAY OUTSIDE! A common misconception about Denver is that it's always cold. It's quite the opposite. Denver boasts 300 days of sunshine each year and warm temperatures! But no matter the weather, stepping outside and enjoy the fresh mountain air (even within the city) is a must. There are countless parks around every corner, restaurants with outdoor seating and adorable neighborhoods to walk through. There's nothing quite like walking outside and getting a beautiful glimpse of those stunning Rocky Mountains.

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

Budapest, Hungry. It has culture, good food, great sites and wonderful people. Although I've only been to Budapest once, it made a lasting impact on me and is a place I won't soon forget. I can't wait to get myself back soon!

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