Area Codes as Status Symbols
Area codes aren't a big deal everywhere -- Montana, for instance, which only has one area code for the entire state: 406. But in tightly-packed urban areas (and amidst the attendant sprawl that surrounds them), area codes tend to slice and dice cities into a half-dozen pieces, each of which represents a lifestyle, because in many big cities, you are where you live.
Even in our increasingly post-landline era, area codes still mean something. In Los Angeles, the tony Westside, Beverly Hills and Malibu are 310, the oft-ridiculed San Fernando Valley is 818 (filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson's three films set in the Valley -- Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love and Boogie Nights -- are sometimes referred to as his "818 trilogy") and since 1997, 626 is the Valley as well. 213, the original area code which once covered the entire city -- and much of Southern California when it was first put into use in 1947 -- now only covers downtown and large swaths of South-Central LA. (Pictured above: Snoop Dogg's first group, 213; 310-themed bling.) 818 and 310 were created in 1984. 323 is Hollywood and its environs.
Just one number away from 213, 212 is New York City's original area code, bestowed upon the city that never sleeps because it's the fastest three-number combination you can dial with a rotary phone. Today, only part of Manhattan retains the 212 area code, which is a mark of old New York pride among those who have it. 917 is the other code most associated with New York, and was created when cell phones started becoming popular to specifically service wireless and pager numbers. (A 1996 court order forced the expansion of 917 to service other types of phones as well.) I have friends here in Los Angeles who moved here from New York years ago, but staunchly refuse to give up their 212 or 917 cell phone numbers.
What about your area? Are there any stigmas attached to or assumptions made about the area codes where you live?