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ODD DAY OUT

Atlas Obscura, David Plotz’s National Geographic–like compendium of curios, just raised itself a cool $2 million in funding. The result? More feature-length articles, a 2016 book on the horizon, and more cool excursions. Way more, actually. Today’s first annual Obscura Day comprises 150 events in 39 states and 25 countries, from Ecuador to Armenia to Ghana. Some of the most promising, however, are happening right here in town, around Obscura‘s home base in Brooklyn. Explore Dead Horse Bay and the Army Terminal, or sit in on a concert at the Robotic Church. Embark on the “Islands of Undesirables Cruise” to New York’s historical penal, quarantine, and asylum islands, or just stop in for some free pinball at the hidden arcade in the back of Greenpoint’s Sunshine Laundromat. Your options only expand if you’re willing to venture out of the city. Jiggle over to LeRoy, New York, for a tour of the Jell-O Gallery, or to Hartsdale to pay your respects at the pet cemetery. Various times and locations.

Sat., May 30, 9 a.m., 2015

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VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

DESSERT RUN

It’s Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, and what better way to celebrate than in the sun, running around New York’s wonderfully weird Roosevelt Island? The Memorial Day Ice Cream Social 5K and 10K Races mark the beginning of NYCRuns’ 2015 season. Awards will be given to the top three male and female runners in each race, broken down into age groups ranging from 10 to 70 years old. In case you’re wondering about the second, more tantalizing part of this event’s name, then yes, an ice cream social awaits at the finish line. Whether that’s an amazing idea or a terrible, potentially vomit-soaked idea, we don’t know. But we can tell you that there’s probably no better motivation to finish than a big old sundae — and hell, you deserve it, put those calories right back in you, champ.

Mon., May 25, 7:30 p.m., 2015

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Best Public Park

Nestled in the East River between the Pepsi-Cola sign in Queens and the United Nations building in Manhattan, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park honors the president who guided America out of the Depression and on to victory in World War II. Against spectacular skyline views, an allée of linden trees leads to a huge bronze bust of the leader best known for turning his back on his aristocratic class by enacting New Deal programs that benefited the common man. The idea for a memorial dates back to the late 1960s, when the New York Times suggested renaming Welfare Island and dedicating it to Roosevelt. But although renowned architect Louis Kahn was tapped to design the tribute, it would take 40 years to bring the park to fruition. But now New Yorkers can stretch out on the inviting sward, and if the breeze is just right, we may hear, as if over some celestial wireless, the famous 1941 State of the Union address in which FDR called for freedom — of speech and of worship, from want and from fear — “everywhere in the world.” The park is open from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. every day except Tuesday.

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Free Wi-Fi Coming to Brownsville, Harlem, the Bronx, and Housing Projects in Brooklyn

On the heels of a report that New York’s tech sector grew faster than almost any other city’s–becoming the city’s second-largest industry this year–comes more good tech news.

Mayor Bloomberg announced Monday the city will be rolling out free and public wireless corridors to 10 neighborhoods in December.

Alongside monied enclaves like Flatiron and the Financial District, lower-income areas like Brownsville, Harlem, the Bronx, and a slice of downtown Brooklyn encompassing two housing projects will be getting free access to the Internet.

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The full list includes downtown Brooklyn’s “Tech Triangle,” Water Street between Whitehall and Fulton Streets in Lower Manhattan, parts of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, a section of Long Island City, a piece in Brownsville, a stretch of 125th Street in Harlem, much of Roosevelt Island, a length of Hyatt Street on Staten Island, part of East Fordham Road in the Bronx, and a stretch of 23rd Street in Flatiron.

See also: 30 More Subway Stations Are Getting WiFi

The city will contribute $900,000 to the project; the rest, some $2.5 million, will come from the private sector, according to the mayor’s office.

Some of the hotspots will be sponsored by a neighborhood association, like Alliance for Downtown New York, or an influential neighborhood presence, like Brooklyn Academy of Music. The rest, including corridors in “the most disadvantaged areas, such as the Bronx and Harlem,” will be provided by the Spanish firm GOWEX, which already operates almost 2000 hotspots around New York City.

GOWEX’s CEO Jenaro Garcia said in an official statement circulated on Monday, “Wi-Fi is like water: it is essential to modern life and everybody should be able to benefit from it.”

Everybody, that is, including GOWEX, which makes money from advertising in the devices it connects to the Internet, and from partnerships with mobile carriers (their free WiFi reduces cellphone companies’ data loads).

Maps of the proposed wireless corridors on the next page[

Downtown Brooklyn, between Schermerhorn Street, Cadman Plaza West, and Flatbush Avenue at Tillary Street. Sponsored by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.


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Financial District, Water Street between Whitehall Street and Fulton Street. Sponsored by Alliance for Downtown New York/LaunchLM.


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Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, Fulton Street between Rockwell Place and Classon Avenue. Sponsored by the Brooklyn Academy of Music.


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Flatiron District, 23rd Street between Sixth and Third Avenues. Sponsored by Flatiron 23rd St. Partnership.


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Long Island City, between Queens Plaza, Jackson Boulevard and Vernon Boulevard. Sponsored by GOWEX.


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Brownsville, between Sutter Avenue, Mother Gaston Boulevard, and Pitkin and Howard avenues. Sponsored by GOWEX.


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Harlem, 125th Street between Broadway and Second Avenue. Sponsored by GOWEX.


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Roosevelt Island, between the Queensboro Bridge and Roosevelt Island Bridge. Sponsored by GOWEX.


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Staten Island, Hyatt Street between St. Mark’s Place and Stuyvesant Place. Sponsored by GOWEX.


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The Bronx, East Fordham Road from Grand Concourse to Arthur Avenue. Sponsored by GOWEX.


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Send story tips to the author, Tessa Stuart