Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Tuesday, March 5

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


KN / January 10, 2005 2:29 PM

WiFi at laundromats

Mike / January 10, 2005 2:34 PM

The El, Metra. I'd say buses too, but that seems even more of a logistical nightmare.

Andrew / January 10, 2005 3:33 PM

I use wifi a bit when not at home -- when I know it's available, usually at coffeeshops. It'd be great if all public libraries in the city were equipped.

Mike-TS / January 10, 2005 4:03 PM

On public transport. For me that's the South Shore & CTA. There's some guy in New York who's been able to propogate a wi-fi hotspot whether he's parked or riding his bicycle. He even was able to send the first e-mail from a subway platform. His URL is:

So as far as the mobile nature of transit being a problem, maybe they should get a hold of him and see how he pulls it off.

clueless / January 10, 2005 4:21 PM

Am I a total moron if i don't know what wi-fi is?

clueless / January 10, 2005 4:21 PM

Am I weird if i don't know what wi-fi is?

brian / January 10, 2005 4:25 PM

Clueless: wi-fi --> wireless fidelity --> wireless internet access. It's nifty.

I would absolutely thrilled if they had wireless internet access at Metra stations - being able to hop on and download my mail at the beginning and end of my trip would be really useful. I have a hard time imagining that a tip jar to cover the cost of access wouldn't pay for the dsl charges in a month.

The Grind in Lincoln Square has lovely access. I've noticed that Panera has started to get into the act too.

Thurston / January 10, 2005 4:33 PM

I don't mean to be a neo-Luddite, but I fear the 24/7 connectivity created by cell phones and WiFi will create an environment in which we become obligated to constantly check in with work regardless of what we are doing or where we are, because after all, there is no technological barrier to doing so - the death knell of being 'unavailable'.

Steve / January 10, 2005 4:39 PM

Ubiquitous wi-fi seems more a when, not an if. The real question is whether it will be free or not.

I was at a corporate event at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston last fall, and they wanted 500 bucks/day to activate the wi-fi in our conference room -- fortunately, I was able to snag a weak signal from the ballroom above.

I leave my wireless network at home open to anyone who needs them some free wi-fi (and there are a few others in the 'hood who are also accessible from my pad). I live just over a block from an el station -- if I could just boost the signal a bit, peeps there could use my net....

paul / January 10, 2005 4:56 PM

How about the obvious?

There's no WiFi at Ohare, while just about every other airport has it.

I'd be willing to pay when trapped there waiting for a delayed flight. On the airplane itself would be nice too.

Casey / January 10, 2005 5:45 PM

Most of the public libraries have wi-fi now. Which is great because you can bring your thermos in and you don't have to pay for anyone's coffee.

But when I do want to plunk down for tea and food, I like the free wifi at bananarana's in Cicero at 2150 S. Laramie across from the blue line stop. Also, Dollop, by the people who brought you Chase Cafe, is a great joint with free wi-fi. It's on Clarendon, between Buena and Irving Park.

Lisa / January 10, 2005 6:19 PM

Airports. All of them. How awesome is it when you are delayed and you can use your laptop? Seriously awesome. The news that it may make it onto planes is just too much.

I'm going to Italy later this year, and I am wondering whether or not it will work over there. Anyone know? (I have a mac, if that makes a difference!)

Steve / January 10, 2005 11:27 PM

Airports...I knew my online poker addiction was out of control when I encountered a delay at Logan and opted to drop 8 bucks for the use of their wi-fi despite having a mere hour of battery life on my StinkPad and not an unused outlet to be found near the United gates....

matt / January 11, 2005 12:39 AM

I guess I'm with the crowd when it comes to airports. Given the incredible delays that a person faces at O'Hare, it'd be nice to be able to mentally escape the madness.

Ian Olsen-Clark / January 11, 2005 10:39 AM

More public wi-fi access across downtown would be nice. I know we already have Daley Plaza, but I thought the City were meant to be providing free wi-fi in some of the parks as well?

On a completely contradictory note, I do agree with Thurston about the dangers of a 'always on' lifestyle. That however is a choice of the individual, as most gadgets have an off switch.

salty / January 11, 2005 10:51 AM

City parks. The parks I went to in Manhattan had free wi-fi, and it was fantastic being able to get online while outside.

Plus, at a park, the wi-fi is truly free (likewise with libraries). The "free" wi-fi at a cafe comes with the understanding that you'll buy some food/drink and not hog a table all day on one coffee.

And Millennium Park should have cafe-style tables (ones with metal "umbrellas" for shade) and more benches. All the more to enjoy a brown bag lunch and free wi-fi!

e_five / January 11, 2005 11:46 AM

I am not a Luddite-- it would be rather difficult to post if I were-- but my irritation with cell phone types, the unsightly towers that enable their addiction, and their rudeness and danger to society (uh, like while driving) has soured me on all things wireless.

I also hate the TV commercials.

jm / January 11, 2005 12:33 PM

I enjoy using wi-fi in coffee shops and libraries...and it would be interesting to use it while at the park, but then again, I like to BE at the park while I'm there. :) Having it at the airport seems like a necessity.

Lovely when it is free. Frustrating when it is not.

There are places that I would rather NOT have wi-fi, if only to know that I could escape technology for a little while. I'm not a Luddite, but I fear that I have become "too addicted" to being connected.

Somehow this is all sounding very Green Eggs and Ham...

"I do not want it during my massage...I do not need it in my garage..."

Thurston / January 11, 2005 12:54 PM

I guess I'll be the big asshole on this board today and say I think it is weird to go to a park and use a computer. What happened to the visceral joys of being outdoors? At Millenium Park, for example, I can think of about a million better things to do than surf the internet or respond to e mails. I guess I'm just curious about the true necessity of constant online access - does anyone really feel that isolated when away from the internet for a while, or have we just been co-opted into being 24-hour consumers of computer and media products?

Onid / January 11, 2005 12:56 PM

Lisa: I was in the airport in Milan in November and it worked for my PC. Plus there are internet koiosks everywhere for about one euro an hour.

brian / January 11, 2005 1:43 PM

Thurston - there are many ways of enjoying a park, including using a computer. The visceral joys of being outdoors don't diminish (for everyone) just because you have an electronic device in your lap instead of a book.

You control the technology; it doesn't control you. Turn your phone off when out to eat. It's not hard to do.

I think the etiquette around cell phones hasn't been established yet as they are still relatively new. I have a bigger question: what the hell do we have to talk about all the time?

Steve / January 11, 2005 1:55 PM

Hey Brian -- aren't most public cell chatterers either businesspeople or under 30s?

The former group, of course, lead lives of such importance that they simply must, MUST discuss business wherever and whenever, location be damned.

And under 30s just seem chattier to me than older folk -- in my college and grad school days, I could talk on the phone for hours with friends both local and remote. Now, in my mid-30s, most of my friends seem freaked out when I call for any reason other than to make plans.

Kip Dynamite / January 11, 2005 2:34 PM

Hey, dorks! Don't bring a computer to the park! And at least TRY to read a BOOK at the library.

You freakin' people remind me of the brother on "Napoleon Dynamite". Did you spend enough time online today??? Do you have to make up some hours online tomorrow??

Get a frisbee....PLEASE!!!

Steve / January 11, 2005 2:39 PM

" technology
but...not as much as thee
But I technology
You're my heart."

-- Kip Dynamite

Lisa / January 11, 2005 6:54 PM

I'm that person who doesn't know what to do when people call me on the phone... except for a few friends that I used to talk to all the time in my twenties!

If Milan has wi-fi, Rome has GOT to, right? How else can I communicate with my friends?! Face to face? Now that's just weird!

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15