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Gnashing of Teeth

The news that Upper East Side ZIP Code 10021 will be broken up did not reach me in time to invest in Dempsey & Carroll, or any of the other stationers who will make a bundle between now and July, when the change goes into effect. Joe mentioned it yesterday - he'll still be "in the two-one" after the switch - but, according to this morning's Times, the story broke in Monday's Sun. Do you know anybody who reads the New York Sun?

The new ZIP Codes will be 10065 (60th-69th Streets) and 10075 (76th-80th Streets). The sloppy fingerprints of underpaid, inexpert bureaucrats are all over the move. The tripartition ought to have been vertical, with 10021 running its current length while stretching from Fifth Avenue only as far as Lexington. Few millionaires would be complaining in that case. The third ZIP Code ought to have been reserved for the New York Hospital/Rockefeller University complex along the river.

But that's not how it's going to work. Thousands of upstanding New Yorkers are going to be de-cacheted.

"The truth is, there are some people whose whole identity is their ZIP code," said Michele Kleier, the president of the real estate brokerage Gumley Haft Kleier.

"I don't think that everybody is going to move out of 80th Stree, but obviously this is the most famous and most desired ZIP code in the city and in America," she said.

[Gay] Talese said, "The first thing you think of is your stationery. "

Well, he is a writer.

Those who worry that their property values may plummet when they're exiled to 10065 and 10075 may just have to think outside the box. Outside the house, anyway.


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This reminds me of the hoo-haw when the vaunted 212 area code was no longer being assigned and new phone numbers would have 646 in Manhattan. I must admit I like having a 212 area code.....now, how do I get that for my mobile???

And in London, people outside of the 207 area code paid thousands of pounds to be in it so as not to be associated with the 208 peasants.....

Unfortunately, unlike area codes, which can be purchased and carried (making the idea of the code and its cachet obsolete, but that's a different kettle of fish), zip codes are neither purchaseable nor portable. Perhaps THIS will make the Wall Street climbers and desultory Social Register crowd who supported Bushmania wake up and take action against this government, now that they have been "hit where they live", so to speak...

Imagine my horror when the USPS moved Brookline from the 021 zone (Boston) into a newly created 024 zone (Waltham). Waltham is a dreary, ugly depressed factory town now reborn as a tacky suburb and office park, and is not particularly near Brookline; geographically, Brookline is wedged straight into the middle of Boston.

We got over it, though.

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