No Free Wi-Fi – Welcome, Starbucks!

(Free Wi-Fi sign posted in many shops in New York City)

As far as I know, this is a sign we don’t see posted in any store window in Sheepshead Bay.

Those of us who are looking to get some free Wi-Fi in Sheepshead Bay will find at least one good reason to welcome a new Starbucks in our neighborhood – even if it’s going to be on Nostrand Avenue and not on Sheepshead Bay Road. I have heard that there is free Wi-Fi in Starbucks, but I have never been able to access it, myself – not even once. That’s probably because I’m usually in transit with no time to really sit down and figure out how to get on the Wi-Fi. When they’re in Sheepshead Bay, I might just have the time to sit down and figure out how to get on their network.

This is going to be one of the rare drive-through Starbucks, so whether they’ll build it with enough space for bloggers to sit and spread out with a laptop, camera, and the requisite journalistic tools – well, that’s another story.

Find out more about Wi-Fi access in Sheepshead Bay.

Yes, there is free Wi-Fi at the public libraries, but their hours are so inconsistent. Last time I tried to use my laptop at the Sheepshead Bay branch at 2636 East 14 Street, they shut the lights off and closed up shop when I was in the middle of a post.

It’s true, too, that there is free Wi-Fi at the Coffee Spot Cafe at 1617 Jerome Avenue, but I don’t think anyone there wants you to know that. Even though it was right in the middle of the day, the owner had “left” the building and shut the internet connection down before doing so. I wonder if his “exit” had anything to do with me taking up space at one of the few tables for more time than it normally takes to gulp a cup of coffee.

Readers, if any of you are aware of more places where there is Wi-Fi access, please let us know. For this report, I went around asking some (only, some) local businesses if they had internet access available and bought quite a few cups of coffee with hopes of getting a “yes”. One of the places I thought for sure would have had internet access was Tete-a-Tete at 2601 E 14th Street (corner of Sheepshead Bay Road). But, the trendy, modern hotspot was not at all a hotspot or modern in the worldwide-web-access sort of way.

I would have been even willing to pay a small fee, since there’s not always time for eating – just enough to do a post and none to run home to do it.

I think it would be a nice courtesy for businesses to offer their Wi-Fi access, even if it means charging a small amount to discourage loitering and excess freeloading. We wouldn’t want any free WiFi cafe backlash as reported by Nate Anderson in Ars Technica. has a user-added list where we can add our own Best Free Wi-Fi restaurants and it looks like someone has already added the El-Greco Diner at 1821 Emmons Avenue. But, the 24-hour diner will soon be gone. So, let’s see how fast we can make the free Wi-Fi list grow like it has in Manhattan and North Brooklyn and show Starbucks that we’re already a part of this brave new world.