On Thursday night, I had an eight minute subway conversation with a flamboyant man in a black ribbed turtle neck about his lack of decent smartphone service. I had my iPhone out and was typing an email. “I can’t believe you are doing that right now. Everywhere I go is a dead zone.” If this disgruntled stranger traversed across the river to visit our lovely neighborhood of Greenpoint, he would come to see that dead zones are just fun zones in disguise. I know better because I live here and have realized that during these momentary suspensions of 3G status, I am being afforded the rare treat of viewing Greenpoint’s residential WiFi signals.

Though I am still working on recognizing familiar faces and finding local friends that I can connect with beyond splitting a bar tab, these invisible internet waves have let me peer behind walls and get an unfiltered glimpse of the people on my block. I say unfiltered because when someone goes about setting up their web access, they probably do not consider that whatever they name their Wifi network will be projected into the stratosphere and inadvertently pop up on the screens of passing iPhone users. Most of the time I wouldn’t notice or care what wireless network names were nearby because they are bo-ring, nonsensical jumbles of capitalized letters and numbers. But not in Greenpoint. Greenpoint appears to be a town that relishes in custom details and its Wifi creativity is telling. We are a community that enjoys being funny, morbid, nonsensical and plugged into high/low brow culture. Little things such as nicknaming the mini Time Warner antenna box sitting in the corner of our living rooms get us jazzed. On a short walk, I managed to source jems like…

Itsnoteasybeinggreenpoint @ Meserole Ave – Melodramatic Kermit the Frog homage.

Neutral Silk Hotel @ Leonard Ave – Modified Holland 1945‘s lyrics to match: “The only girl I ever loved/was born with Kimonos grazing her thighs.”


Chiu Chow RIP @ Eckford Ave – Could either be lamenting a small pet dog‘s death or someone who really, really misses an obscure type of Chinese cuisine.

Black Lodge @ Norman Ave – No doubt a Twin Peak‘s reference. In the TV series, the Black Lodge is a third dimension visited by Agent Cooper during a dream sequence.

Droppin’ Hamiltons @ Lorimer Street – Line from an oldie but goodie, The Lonely Island’s “Lazy Sunday:” Roll up to the theater, ticket buyin/’What we’re handlin’/You can call us Aaron Burr/From the way we’re droppin’ Hamilton’s.

There is really no way for me to fully curate the ‘best-of’ Greenpoint’s wireless signals alone. Thus, I turn to you, dear readers. Submit a phone screen shot of your favorite finds to Greenpointer’s Twitter (@greepointers), with the hashtag #GreenpointWifi. We will share submissions on the blog in the coming weeks!

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