Raelene Johnson, top-selling female Denver VOICE vendor, loves her city and wants to share it with you. The following are Raelene’s personal landmarks and favorite spots.
Photos: Jesse Borrell
Interview Transcribed by: Sarah Harvey
1. The bridge under Broadway between Arapahoe and Canyon streets
“That’s where I slept,” said Raelene. In 2008, Raelene took three university students back to the spot she used to sleep to show them what it was like to be homeless. “They gave up after 24 hours because they were cold.”
Boulder Creek Path bridge under Broadway
2. Central Park
“I like the carnivals and little fairs they have out there,” said Raelene of the summer entertainment Boulder hosts in its Central Park. “They do concerts all summer long there.”
1236 Canyon Blvd
3. The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
This local gem located just east of Central Park is where Raelene would recommend you go for lunch. The Boulder Dushanbe teahouse was a gift to the city of Boulder from its sister city Dushanbe, Tajikistan. “You get inexpensive lunch and the beauty of [the teahouse].”
1770 13th St, open daily 8 a.m. – 9: p.m.
4. Boulder Creek Path
Raelene considers the paths along Boulder Creek an excellent spot to walk. “I like the trails that are behind the library,” said Raelene. “They’re beautiful.”
Parallels Boulder Creek near Boulder Public Library Central Library
5. Chief Niwot Memorial
The Chief Niwot memorial commemorates Arapaho leader Chief Niwot, who worked to maintain peace with white prospectors arriving in Colorado. Tragically, Chief Niwot was later murdered at the Sand Creek Massacre. Boulder Valley was a special, sacred place for the Arapaho, and that resonates with Raelene. “When you come to Boulder, it’s a spiritual, healing place,” said Raelene.
Just off the Boulder Creek bike path next to Canyon and 9th Streets
6. Raelene’s Pitch
Raelene’s first regular pitch spot as a Denver VOICE vendor was between Broadway and 13th, near the information booth. If you’d like to buy a paper from Raelene or even just say hi, you can find her most days on the Pearl Street Mall between Broadway and 13th or at the Boulder Farmer’s Market. ■
1200 block of Pearl Street Mall