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212 area code: Locals scramble for prestigious prefix

A new area code was released to New Yorkers on Saturday — but no one wants it.

A new area code was released to New Yorkers on Saturday — but no one wants it.

Not one New Yorker has called for a 929 number, according to the North American Numbering Plan Administration.

929 joined 347, 646, 718, 917 and 212 as the sixth area code for the Big Apple, but to some, 212 remains the most authentic..

“A 212 number shows that you've been in the city for a while,” said Brooklyn native David Day, 30.

Day is the manager of 212AreaCode.com, a website dedicated to the sales of New York numbers beginning with 212 — and prices that range from $50 to $2,500.

“Only the 212 would earn this sort of frenzy,” Day said. “It’s a conversation piece.”

The 212 area code debuted in 1947, and Day said it is generally the most coveted.

“Sometimes there's an emotional attachment to a certain area code,” explained Joe Cocke, a senior area code relief planner for NANPA.

According to NANPA, 212 and 917 numbers have already been exhausted — and 347 and 718 are slated to run out in the next few months. Although all the numbers have been released, some are deactivated by their owners, creating a market for people like Day to sell coveted codes.

Lower East Side musician Paul Wolfson, 30, felt the need to shed his past after living in New York for four years without a native area code.

“I wanted something local. It's more established, more New York,” said Wolfson, who recently joined the 917 club. “I came here to be a New Yorker, not a tourist.”

Rooting for .nyc

New York exclusivity doesn’t stop at area codes. One campaign is also trying to get a domain name for the Big Apple. NYC Domain is a grassroots group working to make New York City the first city in the world with its own Internet domain, which would be .nyc. Organizers are trying to raise $50,000 to apply for an Internet top-level domain.


Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter at @EmilyatMetro.

 
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