Get outta here! Company wants to take Manhattan’s 212 phone numbers out of town

Posted at 5:01 PM, Apr 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-02 18:33:07-04

They are considered the coolest digits in town … 212.

It’s the area code that defines Manhattan.

“It’s a classic! The big 212,” manager Kevin Todd says, who works at Pork Pie Hatters in the East Village. It’s one of the oldest hat stores in Manhattan.

But the sacred number could soon spread to other cities if internet phone provider Vonage gets its way. Last month the company set up a petition to have the Federal Communications Commission release old, unused 212 numbers.


A beaten-up old phone booth in Manhattan, with 212 phone numbers, where they belong. (Rolando Pujol/PIX11)

“It’s a Manhattan number, Manhattan only,” said a group of men working in the West Village.

The Big Apple-based area code is so sacred there was even a whole “Seinfeld” episode dedicated to it, where Elaine has a mini-breakdown when her number is changed to the 646 code.

The petition will be decided on in mid April.