February 19, 2006

Shout Out to the 415

Today's Style Section of the NY Times has poignant article “Area Code, Sweet Area Code” by Maggie Master. People are on the move but their cell phone area code anchors them to their past.

Although I moved to Houston my cell phone still retains my (415) San Francisco area code. Ironically I lived in Oakland (510) when I obtained the code but most of my days were spent in the City across the Bay, it felt more natural. Plus the cache. According to the article (415) is the Cadillac of area codes. We also have a fax line which is a (510) but I rarely give it out.

Keeping the area code at first seemed like a great way to be seamlessly in two places. My clients and friends in SF could still call me and feel like I was next door. Our Vanage account with a (713) Houston number (we could have picked any area code in the world) rings at home 3x, just in case it is Stephen’s Mum calling from the UK and then forward to my cell phone. It is a bit sluggish for callers but it works nonetheless.

Caller ID is essential these days. My new cell phone actually shows that state from which the caller is using their area code – or rather, which area code they are posing under. Overseas and blocked calls show UNKNOWN and usually this is a telemarketer from India these days.

The other day at work a call came in from 510 and I was so excited to speak with an Oaklander. It was Davy from Found Magazine. He told me he just liked the area code, he’d never lived there.

415 is my anchor, my past, my cool factor and my link back to reality since Houston feels very unconventional and incidental. A 415-er in Houston - feels very long distance.