Linnea Covington

Correspondent

  • New York City, NY, USA

Linnea Covington is a correspondent who lives in New York and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Covington moved from Denver to Brooklyn 10 years ago, and has been eating, drinking and exploring the city ever since. From gourmet pizza, to the best place to get fresh pasta, to the hottest cocktail bar, she hunts and conquers them all. Also keen on travel, Covington has flown around the world, tasting her way through the cuisines of India, Israel, Europe, Canada and, of course, the United States. She also writes for BlackBook magazine, Tea Magazine, Zagat and Today.com, among others.

  • On June 26, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best concert venues in New York City?

    Whether you enjoy giant venues with multi levels or cozy spots to listen to music, New York offers something for everyone. On the more intimate side of concert venues, Joe’s Pub has plenty of tables to sit down at and grab a drink or dinner, all while enjoying a good view of the corner stage. The Highline Ballroom in Chelsea also has seating and food options, which means you can feed your ears and eyes while filling up on vegetable tempura, chicken nachos, and berry tarts.

    If you are eager to hit up a larger venue and see big bands, Terminal Five is one of the best places to go. Here, they offer multi-levels, numerous bars, and great acts like the upcoming Flaming Lips (Oct. 1 and 2), Ra Ra Riot (Oct. 9), and Kate Nash (Nov. 9). Its sister venue, The Bowery Ballroom in the Lower East Side has long been one of my favorite places to go too, though it’s much smaller. A lot of the acts tend to towards the independent side.

    You can also find some great music spots in Brooklyn, like Music Hall of Williamsburg, or the funky Bell House in Gowanus, which hosts not only bands, but burlesque, creative parties, and screenings.
  • On June 24, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best kids activities in New York City?

    While New York City may appear to be an adult playground, and it is, there are plenty of kid-friendly events and activities to do from educational to culinary to just plain fun—especially during the summer and fall months.

    For pure pleasure, Coney Island is the place to bring any excitement-loving kid. Despite the damage done by Hurricane Sandy this past winter, Luna Park is up and running with rides, games, a sprawling beach behind the amusement park, and, for lunch, the world famous Nathan’s Hot Dogs. After all, what kid doesn’t love French fries and hot dogs?

    For a more wholesome adventure, both the Brooklyn and New York Botanical Gardens offer a complete experience for kids, whether they want to learn about plants or just frolic in nature. At the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, head to the 99-year-old Children’s Garden, which features a plot of land intended for kids to grow their own crops, plus a wooded area for them to run around in and explore. At the New York Botanical Gardens, aside from 250-acres of natural joy, they also have a young adult section, the Everett Children's Adventure Garden that showcases giant molds of plants, a boulder maze, and a water plant touch tank.

    Another great place for entertaining kids outdoors is at Hudson River Park. All summer long, children flock here to play mini golf, baseball, or to hang out at the many water parks and playgrounds located at various piers. The science-themed Pier 84 spot is popular for parents eager to get a little bit of education with playtime, and, at Pier 62, they have a magnificent carousal. Along the park there is also plenty to do for older kids, including kayaking, swimming, and rock climbing.

    On food note, entertain your tot by signing him or her up for a kids cooking class. At Chef Toni's Cooking Academy, they offer course for all ages and you can go for the day, come on the weekend for a cooking party, or even send your tween off to social network while learning about food. Best part is, they might even learn something useful while you get an afternoon off.
  • On June 24, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What is the weather like right now in New York City?

    After weeks of rain and cooler temperature, summer has finally landed in the city. That means the thermometer is climbing up into the high 80s and low 90s, and boy is it hot and humid. A lot of this added humidity is due to the constant showers we have had every afternoon, so if you are visiting, make sure to pack an umbrella, because when it starts to rain, usually it pours for about 10 to 20 minutes.

    This is perfect weather for lounging on a beach with a cold beer in hand, or wandering around the air-conditioned museums. On that note, it doesn’t hurt to bring a scarf or light sweater, since many of the businesses here over compensate for the steamy heat by cranking up the AC. As June ends and July commences, expect the weather to remain hot and sticky until mid August when it finally begins to cool down.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What restaurants have the best views in New York City?

    Since the weather has finally cleared up, now taking in the view means you actually can see the view. One of best places to dine and enjoy the scenery both inside and out is at Asiate, high atop the Mandarin Oriental. Here, chef Toni Robertson serves up contemporary Asian food with a side of the Manhattan skyline.

    Next, hit up A Voce Columbus in the Time Warner Center for some excellent Italian by the talented Missy Robbins, and take a gander at the stellar visage of the park. Right next door is Robert, the restaurant for the Museum of Art and Design where you can get a Hudson Valley duck breast with orange-cardamom marmalade and Pimm’s Cup while looking across one of New York’s landmarks. For one of the most versatile outlooks and a meal, The View is a rotating restaurant on top of the Marriot Marquis, which means, you guessed it, a true panorama.

    In Brooklyn, Alma's rooftop bar and restaurant overlooks the water and subsiquently, has a lovely visage of the Manhattan skyline, as well as tasty Mexican nibbles. Or, for a different sort of view entirely, try biting down on a New York strip steak at the Michael Jordan Steak House. Here, you get one of the best, and most relaxed observation spots of Grand Central Terminal, without the hassle of having to stand in the middle of it all. Of course, you can do that too, after dessert.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What restaurants have the best views in New York City?

    Since the weather has finally cleared up, now taking in the view means you actually can see the view. One of best places to dine and enjoy the scenery both inside and out is at Asiate, high atop the Mandarin Oriental. Here, chef Toni Robertson serves up contemporary Asian food with a side of the Manhattan skyline.

    Next, hit up A Voce Columbus in the Time Warner Center for some excellent Italian by the talented Missy Robbins, and take a gander at the stellar visage of the park. Right next door is Robert, the restaurant for the Museum of Art and Design where you can get a Hudson Valley duck breast with orange-cardamom marmalade and Pimm’s Cup while looking across one of New York’s landmarks. For one of the most versatile outlooks and a meal, The View is a rotating restaurant on top of the Marriot Marquis, which means, you guessed it, a true panorama.

    For a different sort of view, try biting down on a New York strip steak at the Michael Jordan Steak House. Here, you get one of the best, and most relaxed observation spots of Grand Central Terminal, without the hassle of having to stand in the middle of it all. Of course, you can do that too, after dessert.
  • On June 17, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best wedding venues in New York City?

    Whenever you walk around on the weekends, especially in the spring, summer, and fall, expect to see many blushing brides posing happily with their partners all over Central Park, in Grand Central Terminal, and by the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO’s scenic park. Of course, photo ops aren’t all there is to a glorious wedding, the venue is important too. Unfortunately, we can’t all have our almost-wedding in the New York Pubic Library ala Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City, but there are plenty of great options for tying the knot.

    For a truly classy, almost fairy tale wedding that’s not too big, you can book 220 people at the St. Regis Hotel. Here, deep inside the 1904 classic Beaux Art landmark, you can arrange a bespoke wedding, complete with flower arrangements, catering, and a glorious ballroom for the after party.

    The Ritz-Carlton by Central Park is also a grand place to get married, and you have the added bonus of the beautiful park right there. They also have a team of wedding professionals to help plan and tweak the event just to you. As for food, chef Mark Arnao oversees the menu, which can include caviar, a tapas bar, fresh seafood, and of course, the cake, expertly created under the watchful eye of pastry chef Joseph Murphy.

    You could also choose The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park for a truly unique spot in the city. Here, they seat 230, and it’s the perfect place to host the reception after performing the ceremony in one of the stunning spots in the park like the Conservatory Gardens. Though, if you want to get wedding photos on the Great Lawn, make sure to get a permit first.

    If a wedding with a spectacular panorama is more to your liking, try the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, which, while high above the water, offers the glittering Hudson River as well as views of the Stature of Liberty. At this venue, chef Abigail Kirsch serves stylish and delicious finger foods, among other things, to help make your special day, well, just that.
  • On June 14, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best souvenirs to buy in New York City?

    Fishs Eddy As if dozens of Instagram pictures weren’t enough, there are tons of souvenirs you can buy in New York for you, for your friends, and for your grandma who has everything. Here are a few of my suggestions.

    For the foodie: New York City has so many delicious products coming out, it’s hard to choose what to get. A good place to start is with local booze, a category that has boomed in the last few years. Grab a bottle of Dorothy Parker gin, or Widow Jane bourbon, which gets made in Red Hook, Brooklyn. If booze isn’t your thing, pick up chocolate from Genosis. The rich bars come in flavors like pomegranate-acai and 90 percent raw cacao. Another great way to say, “Hey, I was in New York,” is with a tea towel sporting a visage of the Brooklyn Bridge or Manhattan’s skyline. You can find this, and plenty of other darling kitchen gear at Fishs Eddy.

    For the artist: If you go to the Museum of Modern Art you can kill two birds with one stone: going to see the awesome exhibits there, and picking up some clever souvenirs. They have all sorts of fun stuff including mugs and change purses designed to look like the classic NYC Greek deli cup, cut-and-paste iconic buildings, and plethora of non-cheesy I Love NY knickknacks. For a truly unique token of the city, buy something from the street or at one of the many markets. It might not say “New York” on it, but it will have a story. You can find such treasured objects at the Hester Street Fair, Brooklyn Flea Market, or on Spring Street near Mott, where tons of vendors set up alfresco shops.

    For everyone: If you have a lot of souvenirs to get or need to obtain a dozen “I Love NY” shirts, Chinatown is the best bet. There, the many hawkers sell shirts, bags, scarves, necklaces, stuffed animals—you name it and they have branded it a NY memento. Plus, things run pretty cheap and if you haggle, chances are you can get it for even less. Finally head ot By Brooklyn for, you guessed it, fun and whimiscal Brookly-themed products all made right here in the city.
  • On June 14, 2013
    Quia Querisma is now following Linnea Covington
  • On June 11, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best sushi restaurants in New York City?

    Nobu Matsuhisa has been churning out some of the best sushi in city since 1994 at his iconic joint Nobu, and it’s still one of the best places to go to get it. Of course, you can go to Nobu Next Door too good food, which is, you guessed it, right beside the original eatery. There, they offer yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, lobster ceviche, Bigeye tuna tataki, and more raw, tasty delights from the sea. Another famous sushi master with a shop in the city is Masayoshi Takayama, whose Masa restaurant is located in the Time Warner Center, right by Per Se. Here, the room is intimate and there are only a handful of tables, so make sure to reserve a spot well in advance.

    At Sushi of Gari they serve an array of fresh nibbles, all expertly handled by chef Masatoshi “Gari” Sugio, who has been making sushi since he was 19. There are five locations in the city and though the menus differ at each one, you can find little twists to certain offerings like truffle oil-laced fluke and Spanish mackerel with mushroom. For more of Sugio, head to Sushi Seki where the chef trained under the master for five years before opening up his own joint on the Upper West Side. Known not only for having great fish, Sushi Seki is also a late night hangout spot for cooks, and plenty of celebrity chefs have been known to pop by.

    For a laid back atmosphere with amazing sushi to boot, Jack and Grace Lamb’s Jewel Bako in the East Village is a good bet. Here, sushi master Yoshi Kousaka whips out creamy slices of fresh Scottish salmon, live scallop, crispy sea bass, and a roll stuffed with Japanese Snow Crab and avocado. Blue Ribbon Sushi also has an excellent selection, as well as locations in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.
  • On June 6, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What restaurants have the best wines in New York City?

    New York is all about wine. Not only do we have three great growing regions—Finger Lakes, Long Island, and Hudson Valley—but some of the best sommeliers in the world. This means you can stop into a slew of illustrious restaurants and choose from hundreds of great vinos. One of my favorite palaces to go is Gramercy Tavern, where their fabulous beverage director Juliette Pope has added hundreds of wine from all over the world, including Hungry, Austria, Argentina, and New York.

    The New York Momofuku restaurants also have a leading lady for their wine program, Jordan Salcito, who has curated a simple, but elegant list. Before she was at Momofuku, Salcito worked at Eleven Madison Park, one of Forbes’ Star-Rated restaurants and another superb place to get wine, and food for that matter. Though they don’t have an epic list of vinos, the choices are tried and true, with a few surprises in the mix. Plus, they offer half bottles, which is an excellent way to sample wines.

    If you are searching for Italian varietals, Babbo has over 2,000 excellent options to choose from. Luckily, they do wine by the quartino, a bottle that holds a quarter of a liter, and allows guests to try multiple selections. Chef Gabe Thompson and barman Joe Campanale also have added a lush Italian wine list at their newest restaurant L’artusi, and you can find wine by the bottle from just about every region in Italy.

    On the French side, Veritas’ world-renown wine cellar overseen by Alexandria Cubbage has 75,000 bottles in their inventory, and offer 3,000 on their daily list. Not surprising, chef Daniel Boulud’s Daniel restaurant features an array of French wines too, though they include 14 other countries to showcase on their 2,000-plus menu.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    Where can you get the best view of New York City?

    The Press Lounge On a clear day, the number one view in the city can be found at the 102-story Empire State Building. From there, you can see the entire city, and a good portion of New Jersey to boot. Of course, this famous skyscraper isn’t always open, so where to go when it’s closed? First on my list is the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center; and the best part is it’s open from 8am to midnight every day, and though the hours change, it’s open on holidays.

    Next up, if you want a view with a drink, check out The Press Lounge on top of the Ink48 Hotel. Here, they have outdoor fireplaces, indoor seating with encased in glass, couches, tables, and a panoramic view of Manhattan. For a cultural view of the city, head the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s rooftop gallery and bar where you can get a lovely view of Central Park and the Upper East Side. Finally, though you can’t stop and stare in this spot, if you happen to be in a car going to LaGuardia Airport on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, aka the BQE, make sure to take in the spectacular view of the city, it’s one of the best.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    Where can you get the best view of New York City?

    The Press Lounge On a clear day, the number one view in the city can be found at the 102-story Empire State Building. From there, you can see the entire city, and a good portion of New Jersey to boot. Of course, this famous skyscraper isn’t always open, so where to go when it’s closed? First on my list is the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center; and the best part is it’s open from 8am to midnight every day, and though the hours change, it’s open on holidays.

    Next up, if you want a view with a drink, check out The Press Lounge on top of the Ink48 Hotel. Here, they have outdoor fireplaces, indoor seating with encased in glass, couches, tables, and a panoramic view of Manhattan. For a cultural view of the city, head the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s rooftop gallery and bar where you can get a lovely view of Central Park and the Upper East Side. Finally, though you can’t stop and stare in this spot, if you happen to be in a car going to LaGuardia Airport on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, aka the BQE, make sure to take in the spectacular view of the city, it’s one of the best.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What is nightlife like in New York City?

    There are so many ways to enjoy nightlife in the city, it really depends on your tastes. But, for one of the hottest scenes to party the night away, head to the Meatpacking District where sharp-looking men in tailored suits stabilize ladies in stilettos as they teeter across the cobblestone street to get to venues like Cielo, a hip club with a sunken dance floor, hip-hop vibe, and DJs François K and Tedd Patterson in the booth.

    Also in the area is Beaumarchais, an elegant French brassiere that goes from a relaxing brunch to an all out day party on the weekends, and at night, you can expect to see fashionistas gathered to eat, drink, and catch a cabaret. After that, the it crowd heads to tenjune for hip hop, R&B, and dance club hits, and if you go just make sure to dress swank, meaning no shorts or sportswear for men and flirty dresses for ladies.

    Of course, the nightlife here isn’t regulated to dancing, there is also a huge restaurant and bar scene to be found on the roof of STK, or at Le Bain, the discothèque, rooftop bar, and pool all perched above the sleek Standard Hotel. Just don’t forget your swimsuit.
  • On May 30, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best boutique hotels in New York City?

    It’s no secret, there are plenty of great hotels in New York. However, if you are looking for something smaller and special, and maybe with an artistic bent, perhaps one of the chic boutique hotels are for you. Here are three that really stand out, and yes, two of them feature restaurants by top British chef April Bloomfield, but hey, the woman knows how make food sing, and that’s reason enough.

    The Pod 39 Hotel: Even though my favorite part about this spot is Bloomfield’s Salvation Taco joint downstairs, there are many other reasons to stay in this Midtown hotel.  First, the rooms are small, clean, and simple, with an “away at camp” sort of vibe, which is in part because they offer bunk beds as well as full, queens, and kings. This doesn’t mean the “pods” don’t have an air of luxury to them, more, a modern and youthful approach. If you are seeking more space, head to their “Play Room,” an area that sports a giant Moroccan-tiled fireplace, vintage couches, ping pong tables, and a bar. They have another bar on the roof, and it’s darling with romantic arches, bright tiled tables, and strings of lights illuminating the outdoors. Come this summer, it will be the perfect place to sit with a cocktail, and maybe a taco, and watch the sun set.

    The Jade Hotel: Located in Greenwich Village, this Art Deco-styled hotel is great option for those looking to stay in the crux of New York culture. They have 113 rooms to choose from, including the Hudson Queen Suite that features a private outdoor patio with views of their blooming garden. For those without the veranda, there is plenty to enjoy, like the lamp-lit sunken lobby, New York-themed library, and their speakeasy-styled Grape and Vine restaurant. Plus, as soon as you leave, you can find New York bustling, right outside the door.

    The Ace Hotel: The reputation of this NoMad boutique hotel speaks to the stylish traveler, after all, each of their 269 rooms feels like you just stepped into a well curated New York City apartment inhabited by a musician perhaps, or independent film maker. Heck, you can even check out the loft spaces, complete with a guitar in the corner and fully stocked mini bar, and really make believe you live in this glorious city. Another perk of staying at the Ace? Well, the lobby is a library-like public space with large, leather couches and wooden tables that bring all sorts of characters to perch, study, and sip Stumptown coffee. For food, you can head to April Bloomfield’s famous restaurant The Breslin, or go for fresh oysters and great cocktails at The John Dory Oyster Bar.
  • On May 30, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best boutique hotels in New York City?

    It’s no secret, there are plenty of great hotels in New York. However, if you are looking for something smaller and special, and maybe with an artistic bent, perhaps one of the chic boutique hotels are for you. Here are three that really stand out, and yes, two of them feature restaurants by top British chef April Bloomfield, but hey, the woman knows how make food sing, and that’s reason enough.

    The Pod 39 Hotel: Even though my favorite part about this spot is Bloomfield’s Salvation Taco joint downstairs, there are many other reasons to stay in this Midtown hotel.  First, the rooms are small, clean, and simple, with an “away at camp” sort of vibe, which is in part because they offer bunk beds as well as full, queens, and kings. This doesn’t mean the “pods” don’t have an air of luxury to them, more, a modern and youthful approach. If you are seeking more space, head to their “Play Room,” an area that sports a giant Moroccan-tiled fireplace, vintage couches, ping pong tables, and a bar. They have another bar on the roof, and it’s darling with romantic arches, bright tiled tables, and strings of lights illuminating the outdoors. Come this summer, it will be the perfect place to sit with a cocktail, and maybe a taco, and watch the sun set.

    The Jade Hotel: Located in Greenwich Village, this Art Deco-styled hotel is great option for those looking to stay in the crux of New York culture. They have 113 rooms to choose from, including the Hudson Queen Suite that features a private outdoor patio with views of their blooming garden. For those without the veranda, there is plenty to enjoy, like the lamp-lit sunken lobby, New York-themed library, and their speakeasy-styled Grape and Vine restaurant. Plus, as soon as you leave, you can find New York bustling, right outside the door.

    The Ace Hotel: The reputation of this NoMad boutique hotel speaks to the stylish traveler, after all, each of their 269 rooms feels like you just stepped into a well curated New York City apartment inhabited by a musician perhaps, or independent film maker. Heck, you can even check out the loft spaces, complete with a guitar in the corner and fully stocked mini bar, and really make believe you live in this glorious city. Another perk of staying at the Ace? Well, the lobby is a library-like public space with large, leather couches and wooden tables that bring all sorts of characters to perch, study, and sip Stumptown coffee. For food, you can head to April Bloomfield’s famous restaurant The Breslin, or go for fresh oysters and great cocktails at The John Dory Oyster Bar.