Three Digits Fraught With Meaning : Area codes: There are secrets aplenty in these numbers.


My friend the numerologist says that nothing happens by chance. The Soviet Union fell according to Nostradamus, the stars foretell the future and messages are concealed everywhere. Even a seemingly innocuous choice, such as a region’s area code, is fraught with subliminal meaning. The analysis:

213 (Los Angeles): The assorted low numbers indicate a mixed, working-class area without pretensions. The gritty, industrial heart of Southern California. See also 312 (Chicago).

310 (Los Angeles): Similar numbers, but their formal pattern (an arrangement divisible by 10) denotes a more highbrow, ritualized, sterile environment. The Westside and Beverly Hills.

818 (San Fernando Valley): The pair of large numbers bookending the digit indicates an area of old-fashioned, stand-up values. The Valley before its most recent demographic shifts. See also 515 (Iowa).


714 (Orange Country): The seven implies good fortune, a break with the past, but the trailing four says this area is anchored by old patterns.

415 (San Francisco): A four faces its twisted reflection, a five, across a divide. Just off-center enough to suggest the non-traditional pairings of this sexual hothouse. See also 504 (New Orleans).

212 (Manhattan): Twos over one hint at coiled strength, an eagle about to soar. But the numbers are too small for this powerhouse, suggesting a certain pettiness. The Ross Perot of area codes.

305 (Miami): The forward-looking three indicates a vibrant populace on the rise, but the five hidden behind the zero alludes to an odd, consuming secret--the obsession with liberating Cuba.

202 (Washington): A pair of even, staid twos bookend an empty core. The perfect metaphor for our faceless, bureaucratic capital. Compare with 501 (Arkansas)--all bluster up front, no substance behind.

801 (Utah): The up-front eight stands for God’s infinite reach, but watch out for the sneaky one. Does it represent the Devil mocking righteous piety?