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Unplug Your Office

Swap the cubicle for a shady park bench in one of the city’s outdoor wireless hot spots.

While the dream of a citywide public Wi-Fi network remains distant, a number of localized networks let the sweet summer sun kiss your cheeks while you remain tethered, for personal or professional reasons, to the World Wide Web. To set up a temporary office, consult the chart below, keeping in mind that the Parks Department has yet to equip any of its benches with electrical outlets for your computer. Pack an external battery. For three to four extra hours of power en plein air, it’s worth spending 200 tax-deductible dollars.

LOCATION: Battery Park
AMENITIES:
NOISE LEVEL: HIGH
CROWD LEVEL: HIGH
BUSINESS SERVICES: The FedEx/Kinko’s at 55 Broadway is a ten-minute walk from the park. On the eastern front, a Starbucks is across the street.
FOOD DELIVERY: No delivery is available. Maximize your efficiency by placing an online order to the nearby Flavors Café (flavorsnyc.com).
SIGNAL STRENGTH*: 48%


LOCATION: Brooklyn Bridge Park
AMENITIES:
NOISE LEVEL: MED
CROWD LEVEL: MED
BUSINESS SERVICES: Copyrite is three minutes away at 45 Washington St., nr. Ward St.; Starbucks, five minutes away at 67 Front St., nr. Main St.
FOOD DELIVERY: The Dumbo outlet of Rice (718-222-9880) delivers variations on the eponymous dish from a number of world cuisines.
SIGNAL STRENGTH: 38%


LOCATION: Bryant Park
AMENITIES:
NOISE LEVEL: HIGH
CROWD LEVEL: HIGH
BUSINESS SERVICES: A FedEx/Kinko’s is close byójust south of the park at 60 W. 40th St., nr. Sixth Ave.
FOOD DELIVERY: Who needs delivery when you’ve got the ’wichcraft café kiosk to feed you?
SIGNAL STRENGTH: 67%


LOCATION: City Hall Park
AMENITIES:
NOISE LEVEL: MED
CROWD LEVEL: MED
BUSINESS SERVICES: The park is flanked by Starbucks, with a Staples (including a copy center) just off the south end of the park, at 217 Broadway.
FOOD DELIVERY: The staff at Carl’s Steaks (212-566-2828) canósometimesóbe persuaded to deliver Philly-style cheesesteaks to the park.
SIGNAL STRENGTH: 45%


LOCATION: Columbus Circle
AMENITIES:
NOISE LEVEL: HIGH
CROWD LEVEL: HIGH
BUSINESS SERVICES: FedEx/Kinko’s is at 233 W. 54th St., at Broadway, a five-minute walk. There’s coffee, juice, and $400 sushi in the Time Warner Center.
FOOD DELIVERY: Meet the deliveryman from Sapphire Indian Cuisine (212-245-4444) at Merchant’s Gate, the southwest entrance to Central Park.
SIGNAL STRENGTH: 71%


LOCATION: Madison Square Park
AMENITIES:
NOISE LEVEL: MED
CROWD LEVEL: MED
BUSINESS SERVICES: The nearest FedEx/Kinko’s is at 8 E. 23rd St., at Madison Ave., on the south side of the park.
FOOD DELIVERY: Shake Shack! (Far superior to any delivery options.)
SIGNAL STRENGTH: 33%


LOCATION: Prospect Park Picnic House and Boathouse
AMENITIES:
NOISE LEVEL: MED
CROWD LEVEL: LOW
BUSINESS SERVICES: A small café inside the boathouse sells coffee and snacks, but commercial services are a considerable distance away.
FOOD DELIVERY: If you meet the deliveryman on the sidewalk, Antonio’s (718-398-2300) will deliver pizza to the west edge of the park.
SIGNAL STRENGTH: 65%


LOCATION: Riverside Park 79th Street Boat Basin
AMENITIES:
NOISE LEVEL: MED
CROWD LEVEL: LOW
BUSINESS SERVICES: Copy and fax services are ten minutes away at Panda Copy, 2202 Broadway, nr. 78th St.; there’s coffee available at the Boat Basin Café.
FOOD DELIVERY: Order the storied dim sum from Ruby Foo’s Uptown (212-724-4761).
SIGNAL STRENGTH: 77%


LOCATION: Sheep Meadow
AMENITIES:
NOISE LEVEL: MED
CROWD LEVEL: LOW
BUSINESS SERVICES: In addition to the above-mentioned Columbus Circle services, there’s a Starbucks at 1889 Broadway, nr. 62nd St.
FOOD DELIVERY: Francesco Pizzeria (212-721-0067) delivers pizza, pasta, and seafood (try to make yourself easy to find by wearing bright colors).
SIGNAL STRENGTH: 60%


LOCATION: Union Square
AMENITIES:
NOISE LEVEL: HIGH
CROWD LEVEL: HIGH
BUSINESS SERVICES: There are two Starbucks facing the park and a FedEx/Kinko’s at the southeast corner as well.
FOOD DELIVERY: Coffee Shop (212-243-7969, ext. 113) will send food across the street. (Foxy waitstaff not included.)
SIGNAL STRENGTH: 79%


LOCATION:Washington Square Park
AMENITIES:
NOISE LEVEL: HIGH
CROWD LEVEL: HIGH
BUSINESS SERVICES: Unique Copy Center (252 Greene St., nr. Waverly Pl.) and Joe the Art of Coffee (141 Waverly Pl., nr. Sixth Ave.) are minutes away.
FOOD DELIVERY: Market Place Cafe (212-420-1212) offers deli fare like salads, pasta, sandwiches, and panini.
SIGNAL STRENGTH: 80%


* Signal strength fluctuates based on factors like weather, but was consistent enough to surf without interruption at all of these locations. Avoid alleged hot spots Liberty Plaza (near ground zero) and Tompkins Square Parkówe couldn’t grab a signal at either place.


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