Nature is overrated, NYC park goers choose screens over trees

Fresh air, green grass and the sound of birds chirping: These are the joys of the outdoors — or, they used to be. Now it’s more likely that you’ll hear the tap-tapping of laptop keyboards and the “ping” of iPhone notifications, as New York City residents and visitors alike have traded in Mother Nature for free Wi-Fi at parks across the five boroughs.

The New York City Parks Department started adding free Wi-Fi, courtesy of AT&T, to the parks-and-recreation experience over the summer. Now, park visitors are making more than 4,000 connections per day for a grand total of 750,000 free W-Fi connections at parks since June.

Of course, our thirst for the web will never be quenched, so New Yorkers and tourists can revel in the fact that the parks department added free Wi-Fi at four additional locations today: Mineral Springs and Tavern on the Green in Central Park, Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Devoe Park in the Bronx.

The new locations add to the growing list of New York City parks now offering the mobile and Internet-obsessed a reprieve from the great outdoors.

Other parks with free Wi-Fi include Astoria Park in Queens, Herbert Von King Park and McCarren Park Field House in Brooklyn, Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan and Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island, Battery Park, Rumsey Playfield, areas of Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem and Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx.

The Wi-Fi rollout is all part of an on-going five-year plan, backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City of New York, to wire-up 26 different public park locations spanning all five boroughs.

[Image via mfakheri/Flickr]


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