Finally, we have a reason to emerge from our sanctuaries of brick, plywood and air conditioning to do our business in the park: the city announced today that 20 parks throughout the five boroughs will all be getting free public Wi-Fi. While we're quite excited at the prospect, we worry that Chuck Schumer might not be too happy about this one.
Mayor Bloomberg and Randall Stephenson, the chairman and CEO of AT&T, made the announcement at Thomas Jefferson Park in Manhattan today. The Mayor's Twitter account revealed that three places will have public Internet connections starting today: at Battery Bosque in Battery Park, the north-end playground in Joyce Kilmer Park and around the recreation center at Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem. He also noted that at least 17 other parks which will be getting it later this summer:
- In Brooklyn, free Wi-Fi is coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fort Greene Park, Herbert Von King Park, McCarren Park and Prospect Park
- In Manhattan, free Wi-Fi is coming to the High Line, Holcombe Rucker Park, Marcus Garvey Park, Tompkins Sq and parts of Central Park
- In the Bronx, free Wi-Fi is coming to Bronx River Park and Devoe Park
- In Queens, free Wi-Fi is coming to Astoria Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park and MacDonald Park
- In Staten Island, free Wi-Fi is coming to Clove Lake Park and South Beach
You can see more information about the project, including locations of each of the parks, here. The initiative runs for several years and will be free for all users, Dallas-based AT&T told Bloomberg News. So will people flock to parks with their computers now? Will this affect business at Starbucks and local coffee shops? And most importantly, will we even ever be able to go outside again without staining our shirts with sweat?