Free Internet in Prospect Park — but some users call it ‘Why Fi’

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Finally, you can download e-mails from that Nigerian prince amid the splendor of Prospect Park.

The city quietly flipped on the free wireless Internet service in Brooklyn’s green heart last week, allowing park-goers to surf the web, check their stocks or play Words with Friends with Alec Baldwin — anything to remain offline, even in the city’s premier greenspace.

The hookup works within 350 feet of the Picnic House — just south of the Third Street entrance in Park Slope — and extends into the Long Meadow and nearby barbeque areas.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Prospect Park spokesman Paul Nelson. “You can have a nice little picnic — with Internet access.”

The service is part of a five-year city initiative, in conjunction with AT&T, to bring free Internet to parks, including Fort Greene Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park — where the WiFi also launched quietly last month. McCarren Park was the first in the borough to score the service two months ago.

Sure, it’s nice to have more bars in more places, but some folks said they’d rather not mix technology with turf.

“You can’t be connected all the time,” said Chris Hemmeter, who was lying in the grass at the time.

Fellow park-goer Kris Wiig added, “People should come to the park and unplug. That’s what a park is for, to unwind.”

But some Internet users were pleased to have an alternative to having to buy coffee just to get online.

“I’d rather come to the park than Starbucks for WiFi,” said Ayjy Bhardwaj of Bushwick. “The problem with Starbucks and cafes is that you have to buy something. But here, you can sit anywhere. There’s no pressure.”

A spokeswoman for AT&T said the company hooked up the service during cold weather months to work out potential glitches by the spring, when the park gets more use.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

manhatposeur from portlyn lakes Park says:
Its good that we can have wifi access in the park.
Dec. 21, 2011, 8:59 am
S from PPW says:
They could cure cancer and Natalie O'Neill would still find a way to drum up controversy with a silly pun-laden headline and two quotes from cranks.
Dec. 21, 2011, 9:59 am
Brenda from Flatbush says:
Was that the Kristen Wiig from SNL and the movies?
Dec. 21, 2011, 10:36 am
Fuzzbee from Prospect height says:
it would be a great idea to make a starbuck in the middle off the pack! and have some teas and go on the computer on a log in sumer time and fall time!!! this is a great idea from Fuzzbee and because i'm sick of all the time winter snow around here!!!!!
Dec. 21, 2011, 12:33 pm
Juan from Gowanus says:
Yes, everyone knows there is nothing to the internet but spam. Why don't we just shut the whole useless thing down.

Great article.
Dec. 21, 2011, 1:03 pm
johnnyboy from windsorterace says:
the internet is going the way of TV,
Commerce interrupt by entertainment
Dec. 21, 2011, 2:45 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Can I bring my Henry Miller Aeron chair as well, or will the wheels get too clogged with dirt?
Dec. 21, 2011, 2:47 pm
Fuzzbee from Prospect height says:
starbuck coffee {and teas} in the pake for everyone around here end of the story!!!! thats what i said!
Dec. 21, 2011, 4:10 pm
Eric from Fort Greene says:
". . . . anything to remain offline, even in the city’s premier greenspace."

That should be "online" not "offline"... or am I missing something?
Dec. 24, 2011, 3:28 pm
Eric from Park slope says:
Anyone know the password ?
Aug. 13, 2014, 11:41 am

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