Top parks with Wi-Fi

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Illustration: Marc Whalen

The number of NYC parks that provide free wireless Internet will be growing over the next five years as AT&T has partnered with the city to expand access. That's in addition to spots like Brooklyn Bridge and Bryant Parks that've taken it upon themselves to install free hotspots. Of the current batch, here are the best locations that combine a reliable connection with a bit of nature:

Joyce Kilmer Park
This park, just to the east of Yankee Stadium, resides on a tree-lined three-block stretch of Grand Concourse and features plenty of benches for hunkering down. Look for wireless access near the playground at its northern end. E 164st St at Grand Concourse, Bronx (nycgovparks.org). Network name: "attwifi"

Thomas Jefferson Park
Located in East Harlem, this park is home to active sports fields, a running track and basketball courts; its shady benches are also a good spot to get some afternoon blogging done. First Ave between 111th and 114th Sts (nycgovparks.org). Network name: "attwifi"

Bryant Park
Bryant Park's wireless system has been kicking since 2002, but the connection was upgraded this summer to meet demand from an increasing number of tablets and pocket devices. The connection is set to get another upgrade later this fall. Sixth Ave between 40th and 42nd Sts (212-768-4242, bryantpark.org). Network name: "bryantpark.org"

Union Square Park
The connection here is strongest at the corners of the park, particularly near the pavilion and benched area at 17th Street. The steps at the south end get a robust signal too, but watch out for the up-skirt peepers and other unsavory characters. 14th St to 17th St between Broadway and Park Ave South (212-460-1200, unionsquarenyc.org). Network name: "unionsquarewifi"

Brooklyn Bridge Park
This summer, nonprofit NYCWireless made Dumbo the first neighborhood in the city with free, nabe-wide Wi-Fi. We suggest heading to Brooklyn Bridge Park near Empire Fulton Ferry, where you'll also be able to take a spin on the newly opened Jane's Carousel. Main St at Fulton Ferry Landing, Dumbo, Brooklyn (brooklynbridgepark.org). Network name: "DUMBO Wi-Fi"

Battery Park
The fast Wi-Fi hookup at the Battery Bosque, the park's garden-lined section to the east of Castle Clinton, can reach download speeds of 700kbps (quick enough for YouTube or Spotify). There are more than enough benches and plenty of shade, so you can find a comfortable workspace where the sun won't wash out your screen. State St at Battery Pl (thebattery.org). Network name: "attwifi"

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