Wi-Fi Meandering Part III

08/15/2011 in

Downtown Alliance Free Wi-Fi Network
This is the third and final part of my Wi-Fi meandering to check out the status of our Wi-Fi hotspots and to make sure they were all in good shape.

We parted ways last time while I was readying to leave City Hall Park. The next stop was 7 World Trade Center (AKA Vesey Park) near the World Trade Center site. My team and I exited the park on the west side and walked along Murray Street, turned left onto Church Street and passed the Walking Men 99, one of our most popular Re:Construction projects that recently welcomed 24 new images.

Then we made a right onto Barclay Street until reaching Vesey Park from the north. Vesey Park has a sculpture called Balloon Flower (red) by Jeff Koons. Check out this interesting description of it to learn more, but suffice to say it is another beautiful Lower Manhattan piece of public art.

Also at Vesey Park is a visitor kiosk. This may not surprise you, but the Downtown Alliance runs that kiosk. It may also not surprise you that since I don’t get out enough, this was the first time that I have seen our recently refurbished kiosk, complete with new wrapping. Frankly, it looks great. (Fun fact of the day: 1.2 million visitors were helped at our three kiosks last year.) The kiosk now has a huge map to help you find your way, QR codes for you to snap with your iPads and iPhones and other devices to get information about Lower Manhattan and updates on the World Trade Center site.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned how much I am fascinated by construction sites, and as I turned to leave Vesey Park for the World Financial Center Winter Garden, I was amazed by the progress at the World Trade Center site.

I really do need to get out more.

It was amazing to walk from Vesey Park past the enormous construction work being done at the site, through the walkway over West Street and down the steps…where I bumped into a good friend of mine from my neighborhood (yes, my neighborhood in Long Island, folks) and we chatted for a bit.

Eight million people, millions of more visitors, and I bump into him. How many people do we know and pass by without ever seeing?

Anyway, we entered the gorgeous Winter Garden and captured even more views of the World Trade Center site and the ability to see the progress from a distance with a little perspective.

The Wi-Fi there was working fine. I snapped some pictures and then used the Wi-Fi to figure out where my next stop was located, a few blocks away. I’d only been to Charlotte’s Place once and only through an adjacent building, not through the front door.

We weaved our way through the World Financial Center, crossed over West Street again via the pedestrian bridge just south of the World Trade Center site and then walked down West Street until we hit Carlisle Street and turned left. That took us to Greenwich Street and almost directly in front of Charlotte’s Place.

The last time I’d been there it was under construction. I had no idea what to expect. Charlotte’s Place is managed by Trinity Church (which sponsors the Wi-Fi at this location) and it’s a community center for everyone to be able to use for free.

I imagined a cafeteria-like set-up so people could do whatever they need to, like eat, read or use a Wi-Fi-enabled device. Instead, it looked nice and cozy, with bright colors and open space with small tables of four chairs. It’s not a large facility, but certainly more than enough room to hang out for a while and get some work (or some playing) done.

Again, the Wi-Fi was, fortunately, working just fine, and so I parted ways with our Sky-Packets guys and headed back to my office.

As usual, I cut through the Trinity Church cemetery via the entrance on Trinity Place, and imagined a day when this entire area of Lower Manhattan would be lit up with Wi-Fi.

Hopefully, that will one day be another meandering.

Tags: Balloon Flower, Barclay Street, Charlotte's Place, Church Street, City Hall Park, Construction Projects, Hot Spots, iPad, iPhone, Jeff Koons, LM Meandering, Lower Manhattan, Maya Barkai, Murray Street, RECon, Sky-Packets, Trinity Church, Trinity Place, Vesey Park, Walking Men, Wi-Fi, Winter Garden, World Financial Center, World Trade Center

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