On July 1st, I’ll no longer be an elitist
I stopped by the post office the other day to pick up a package that didn’t quite fit into my minuscule mailbox, and posted all over the post office were signs that outlined a ZIP Code realignment effective July 1st. On July 1st, I’ll no longer be a 10021, I’ll be a 10065.
It’s been on my mind ever since.
First off, this is the first time this sort of thing has happened to me. I was spared during the great 212/718 split of 1984 because I lived in Manhattan. (little known fact: New York City was originally given area code 212 back when area codes were assigned in 1947 because it’s the fastest area code that could be dialed with a rotary dial phone given the limitations of area codes back then i.e. couldn’t start with 1, had to have either 1 or 0 as the middle digit, etc.)
Secondly, this change means a little bit of work for me. I’ll have to update my address with all my banks, credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, DMV, utilities, etc. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but it’s going to take me several hours to compile the list and then get in contact with everything. That’s several hours of my life I won’t get back. I’m just bitching here.
But this change is being argued about by people with much nobler callings than just minor inconvenience. For some, this change is part of their identity. For you see, the ZIP code of 10021 is the wealthiest ZIP code in NYC, and to be a part of that ZIP code makes you a member of an exclusive club (so I’m told). I suspect that some people who are upset at losing their 10021 identity will get a mailbox at Mail Boxes Etc. in the new, smaller, 10021 ZIP code, just so they can keep up appearances. I’m not one of those people.
Should we really let numbers define us? If so, then on July 1st, I’ll be defined by the following numbers (bonus points if you guess them all): 212/917, 10065, 412, 17.5/34, 36/36, 44L, 12, 220, 153.