Here's some good news. Harlem is about to get the biggest free public Wi-Fi network in the entire country, spanning a whopping 95 blocks. Soon there won't be anywhere in the city where you can't get online.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg—clearly on his farewell I promise I made New York better tour—just announced the initiative today. The network will stretch from 110th to 138th Streets between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Madison Avenue. It'll roll out in three phases, the first of which (110th to 120th between Frederick Douglass and Madison) is already in the works and set to be done by the end of the month. Phase two (121st to 126th) is supposed to be done by February 2014, and Phase three (127th to 138th) is looking at a May 2014 end date.
Now you can pretty much take your pick of the places in Manhattan where you can get Wi-Fi. Last spring, the Metropolitan Transit Authority installed networks in 30 different train stations, and apparently every station will be wired by 2016. On top of that, most public parks in the city also offer connections these days. But the Harlem initiative is pretty cool in terms of just how freaking big it is, and for the fact that it will cover thousands low-income residents that might not otherwise have access to the internet.