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Outdoors and Online: 20 of New York City's Free Wi-Fi Spots

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It's summertime and the weather is (mostly) beautiful: so why not move the office into the great outdoors? All many workers require is some internet, and New York City's myriad resources—from the Parks department to the Downtown Alliance—have at least four out of the five boroughs covered when it comes to free al fresco Wi-Fi. Beyond green lungs, zoos, and public plazas, folks can even log on from the new "beach" at Water and Whitehall streets, without ever missing an e-mail. So what are you still doing at your desk?
—Hannah Frishberg


· All Outdoors Week 2014 coverage [Curbed]

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1. Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Main St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(212) 803-3822
Visit Website

Just another reason you absolutely have to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park - Wi-Fi is now available on the waterfront promenade, Pier 6, Main Street, and the Empire Fulton Ferry. CBS even rated it in their "Top 7 Best Parks with Wi-Fi."

2. Tompkins Square Park

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E 7th St. to E 10th St.
New York, NY 10009
(212) 387-7685
Visit Website

Who could've guessed what was once the most gloriously filthy park in Manhattan would one day be blessed with unlimited free Wi-Fi? Part of Bloomberg and AT&T's Wi-Fi initiative in public parks, if you're looking to surf in Tompkins there's best service by the Field House.

3. Union Square Park

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btwn Broadway & Union Sq E
New York, NY 10003

If you can't find internet in Union Square, you're doing it wrong. In addition to the plethora of indoor spots with public networks available, there's free Wi-Fi outside too (SSID is the wildly original unionsquarewifi). Protip: avoid the Greenmarket on Wednesdays and Saturdays or you'll have no room to perch with your laptop. Oh, and using the internet to look up chess moves to offer the masters who'll play you for $5 a game is, in fact, cheating.

4. Madison Square Park

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Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 538-1884
Visit Website

Register yourself a free account on NYCwireless, the non-profit behind many installments of public wireless Internet all over the city, and you can have all the interwebs you want in Madison Square Park—for free! That way, if the view of the Flatiron isn't pretty enough, or the food at Shake Shack or nearby Eataly doesn't satisfy you, you can just order something better off Seamless.

5. Astoria Park

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at Shore & Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, NY 11106

Why Leave Astoria Park, asks one blog, questioning the sanity of any and everyone who've ever thought that the world could give them anything Astoria Park couldn't. The free wi-fi is certainly a strong pro for their argument. Find the Field House, adjacent to the tennis courts, for best signal.

6. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

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Great Lakes Ct.
New York, NY 11368
(212) 639-9675
Visit Website

Are Google results different in Queens? Come to Flushing Meadows and find out (best service by the Near Discovery Center). While you're out there, stop by the Queen's Museum or imagine the future while looking at the old World's Fair's space-age towers. The Lemon Ice King of Corona is also nearby (and delicious).

7. McCarren Park

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780 Lorimer St
Brooklyn, NY 11222

With free unlimited Wi-Fi in McCarren Park, you'll have more WorldStar material, both live and recorded, then you could possibly watch in one sitting. Gather round the restrooms for the most bars.

8. Central Park

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59th St to 110th St
New York, NY 10028
(212) 310-6600
Visit Website

With a park as big and popular as Central, not just one hotspot will do. AT&T provides signal out of Mineral Springs, Tavern on the Green, and around the zoo.

9. Prospect Park

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Prospect Park
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 965-8951
Visit Website

Brooklyn's biggest green space has Wi-Fi hotspots all over the place, in both the Picnic House and the Bandshell. While the free public service is certainly a boon for many, a 2011 Brooklyn Paper article reported on a few people who weren't so enthusiastic. Hopefully service has improved by now.

10. High Line

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btwn Gansevoort & W 30th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 500-6035
Visit Website

Supplied out of New Chelsea Market, the High Line is all wired up. So if the naked voyeurs at The Standard don't fulfill your park-going lust, now you can watch whatever you want on everyone's favorite elevated-railway-turned-park. Password is gentrification69.

11. Thomas Jefferson Park

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2180 1st Ave
New York, NY 10029

"A surprise oasis in the middle of East Harlem," says one enthusiastic reviewer of the free unlimited Wi-Fi in Thomas Jefferson Park. The Barrio's all wired in, so come by and power on. Stick by the "Near Park Building," if you want the best service.

12. Stone Street

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Stone Street
New York, NY 10004

Previously known in turns as Duke Street and Brewers Street, history buffs rejoice, you can now research Stone Street's history while sitting/standing/strolling on it, using the recently installed free public Wi-Fi courtesy of the Downtown Alliance.

13. City Hall Park

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17 Park Row
New York, NY 10038
(212) 966-6530
Visit Website

Thanks to the Downtown Alliance, City Hall Park has Wi-Fi—albeit barely. According to testers at DNAinfo, the connection is painfully slow (although not as bad as Bowling Green, where they couldn't even find a connection).

14. South Street Seaport

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South St.
New York, NY 10038
(212) 732-7678
Visit Website

The birthplace of Manhattan is becoming a new outdoor mall—but hey, at least there's free Wi-Fi. On a less bitter note, there's plenty of pop-up restaurants, free movies, and concerts to keep you entertained if you run out of cute cat GIFs to troll. Beware the hordes of tourists.

15. Elevated Acre

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55 Water St
New York, NY 10004

There must be unlimited online access in heaven, if you believe in that kind of stuff. Or come close with the free Wi-Fi at the Elevated Acre, a lovely patch of shade and grass in the shadow of downtown skyscrapers.

16. Trinity Church

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74 Trinity Pl
New York, NY 10006
(212) 602-0800
Visit Website

This slow connection is killing me! (Har har.) Trinity Church graveyard is covered by the Downtown Alliance's massive hot spot map of lower Manhattan, so come on down and watch some apropos horror movies among above the bodies.

17. Queens Zoo

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53-51 111th St
Flushing, NY 11368
(718) 271-1500
Visit Website

Lions and tigers and dial-up, oh my! As part of AT&T's citywide initiative, the Queens Zoo is the 23rd NYC Parks location to become a hotspot.

18. Chelsea / Meatpacking district

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9th Avenue & West 15th Street
New York, NY 10014

The (warning: PDF!) Chelsea Improvement Company and Google have together created NYC's "largest contiguous Wi-Fi network" spanning southwest Chelsea, and making it a "hot" neighborhood—in terms of both wireless connectivity and flaming real estate prices. See a full map of the coverage (PDF again, sorry) here.

19. The Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden at Hanover Square

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On a more somber note, the Queen Elizabeth II garden memorial for the 67 British citizens who died in 9/11 now has free Wi-Fi, another "hotspot" in the Downtown Alliance's extensive network. Located in Hanover Square, this not-so-well-known nook is a spot of relative solitude in an otherwise densely packed area.

20. New York Botanical Garden

Copy Link
2900 Southern Blvd
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 817-8700
Visit Website

Come browse among the flowers with free unlimited Wi-Fi at the New York Botanic Gardens. Neither Yankee Stadium nor the Bronx Zoo has free Wi-Fi, so of the Bronx's main draws for tourists and locals on a day trip to the borough, this is your best bet. Instagram a pretty blossom while you're at it, eh?

1. Brooklyn Bridge Park

Main St., Brooklyn, NY 11201

Just another reason you absolutely have to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park - Wi-Fi is now available on the waterfront promenade, Pier 6, Main Street, and the Empire Fulton Ferry. CBS even rated it in their "Top 7 Best Parks with Wi-Fi."

Main St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201

2. Tompkins Square Park

E 7th St. to E 10th St., New York, NY 10009

Who could've guessed what was once the most gloriously filthy park in Manhattan would one day be blessed with unlimited free Wi-Fi? Part of Bloomberg and AT&T's Wi-Fi initiative in public parks, if you're looking to surf in Tompkins there's best service by the Field House.

E 7th St. to E 10th St.
New York, NY 10009

3. Union Square Park

btwn Broadway & Union Sq E, New York, NY 10003

If you can't find internet in Union Square, you're doing it wrong. In addition to the plethora of indoor spots with public networks available, there's free Wi-Fi outside too (SSID is the wildly original unionsquarewifi). Protip: avoid the Greenmarket on Wednesdays and Saturdays or you'll have no room to perch with your laptop. Oh, and using the internet to look up chess moves to offer the masters who'll play you for $5 a game is, in fact, cheating.

btwn Broadway & Union Sq E
New York, NY 10003

4. Madison Square Park

Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

Register yourself a free account on NYCwireless, the non-profit behind many installments of public wireless Internet all over the city, and you can have all the interwebs you want in Madison Square Park—for free! That way, if the view of the Flatiron isn't pretty enough, or the food at Shake Shack or nearby Eataly doesn't satisfy you, you can just order something better off Seamless.

Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010

5. Astoria Park

at Shore & Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, NY 11106

Why Leave Astoria Park, asks one blog, questioning the sanity of any and everyone who've ever thought that the world could give them anything Astoria Park couldn't. The free wi-fi is certainly a strong pro for their argument. Find the Field House, adjacent to the tennis courts, for best signal.

at Shore & Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, NY 11106

6. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Great Lakes Ct., New York, NY 11368

Are Google results different in Queens? Come to Flushing Meadows and find out (best service by the Near Discovery Center). While you're out there, stop by the Queen's Museum or imagine the future while looking at the old World's Fair's space-age towers. The Lemon Ice King of Corona is also nearby (and delicious).

Great Lakes Ct.
New York, NY 11368

7. McCarren Park

780 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11222

With free unlimited Wi-Fi in McCarren Park, you'll have more WorldStar material, both live and recorded, then you could possibly watch in one sitting. Gather round the restrooms for the most bars.

780 Lorimer St
Brooklyn, NY 11222

8. Central Park

59th St to 110th St, New York, NY 10028

With a park as big and popular as Central, not just one hotspot will do. AT&T provides signal out of Mineral Springs, Tavern on the Green, and around the zoo.

59th St to 110th St
New York, NY 10028

9. Prospect Park

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Brooklyn's biggest green space has Wi-Fi hotspots all over the place, in both the Picnic House and the Bandshell. While the free public service is certainly a boon for many, a 2011 Brooklyn Paper article reported on a few people who weren't so enthusiastic. Hopefully service has improved by now.

Prospect Park
Brooklyn, NY 11215

10. High Line

btwn Gansevoort & W 30th St, New York, NY 10011

Supplied out of New Chelsea Market, the High Line is all wired up. So if the naked voyeurs at The Standard don't fulfill your park-going lust, now you can watch whatever you want on everyone's favorite elevated-railway-turned-park. Password is gentrification69.

btwn Gansevoort & W 30th St
New York, NY 10011

11. Thomas Jefferson Park

2180 1st Ave, New York, NY 10029

"A surprise oasis in the middle of East Harlem," says one enthusiastic reviewer of the free unlimited Wi-Fi in Thomas Jefferson Park. The Barrio's all wired in, so come by and power on. Stick by the "Near Park Building," if you want the best service.

2180 1st Ave
New York, NY 10029

12. Stone Street

Stone Street, New York, NY 10004

Previously known in turns as Duke Street and Brewers Street, history buffs rejoice, you can now research Stone Street's history while sitting/standing/strolling on it, using the recently installed free public Wi-Fi courtesy of the Downtown Alliance.

Stone Street
New York, NY 10004

13. City Hall Park

17 Park Row, New York, NY 10038

Thanks to the Downtown Alliance, City Hall Park has Wi-Fi—albeit barely. According to testers at DNAinfo, the connection is painfully slow (although not as bad as Bowling Green, where they couldn't even find a connection).

17 Park Row
New York, NY 10038

14. South Street Seaport

South St., New York, NY 10038

The birthplace of Manhattan is becoming a new outdoor mall—but hey, at least there's free Wi-Fi. On a less bitter note, there's plenty of pop-up restaurants, free movies, and concerts to keep you entertained if you run out of cute cat GIFs to troll. Beware the hordes of tourists.

South St.
New York, NY 10038

15. Elevated Acre

55 Water St, New York, NY 10004

There must be unlimited online access in heaven, if you believe in that kind of stuff. Or come close with the free Wi-Fi at the Elevated Acre, a lovely patch of shade and grass in the shadow of downtown skyscrapers.

55 Water St
New York, NY 10004

16. Trinity Church

74 Trinity Pl, New York, NY 10006

This slow connection is killing me! (Har har.) Trinity Church graveyard is covered by the Downtown Alliance's massive hot spot map of lower Manhattan, so come on down and watch some apropos horror movies among above the bodies.

74 Trinity Pl
New York, NY 10006

17. Queens Zoo

53-51 111th St, Flushing, NY 11368

Lions and tigers and dial-up, oh my! As part of AT&T's citywide initiative, the Queens Zoo is the 23rd NYC Parks location to become a hotspot.

53-51 111th St
Flushing, NY 11368

18. Chelsea / Meatpacking district

9th Avenue & West 15th Street, New York, NY 10014

The (warning: PDF!) Chelsea Improvement Company and Google have together created NYC's "largest contiguous Wi-Fi network" spanning southwest Chelsea, and making it a "hot" neighborhood—in terms of both wireless connectivity and flaming real estate prices. See a full map of the coverage (PDF again, sorry) here.

9th Avenue & West 15th Street
New York, NY 10014

19. The Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden at Hanover Square

New York, NY 10004

On a more somber note, the Queen Elizabeth II garden memorial for the 67 British citizens who died in 9/11 now has free Wi-Fi, another "hotspot" in the Downtown Alliance's extensive network. Located in Hanover Square, this not-so-well-known nook is a spot of relative solitude in an otherwise densely packed area.

20. New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458

Come browse among the flowers with free unlimited Wi-Fi at the New York Botanic Gardens. Neither Yankee Stadium nor the Bronx Zoo has free Wi-Fi, so of the Bronx's main draws for tourists and locals on a day trip to the borough, this is your best bet. Instagram a pretty blossom while you're at it, eh?

2900 Southern Blvd
Bronx, NY 10458