A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 20, 2008
Countdown City or 210 (San Antonio nickname)

San Antonio has the telephone area code 210, so the city is sometimes called “210” or “Countdown City” (as in “2-1-0"). This borrows somewhat from the television show Beverly Hills, 90210, that was named after a postal zip code.

The 210 area code was first created in 1992, and then became more centralized to San Antonio in 1997. The nickname “Countdown City” was popularized in 2007.


Wikipedia: Area code 210
North American area code 210 is a state of Texas telephone area code for numbers in the San Antonio area. It was created November 1, 1992 in a split from area code 512. This area code was then split again on July 7, 1997, creating area code 830 by which 210 is completely enclaved.

Counties Served by this area code:
Bexar

Towns and cities served by this area code:
Adkins, Alamo Heights, Artesia Wells, Atascosa, Converse, Ecleto, Elmendorf, Helotes, Leon Springs, Macdona, Saint Hedwig, San Antonio, Shavano Park, Schertz, Universal City, Von Ormy, Wetmore

Wikipedia: Beverly Hills, 90210
Beverly Hills, 90210 is a primetime television soap opera that aired from October 4, 1990, to May 17, 2000, on FOX in the United States and subsequently on various networks around the world. The show followed the lives of a group of teenagers living in the posh, star-studded community of Beverly Hills, California and attending the fictitious West Beverly Hills High School and then-fictitious California University. The show was created by Darren Star and produced by Aaron Spelling. The “90210” in the title refers to one of the suburb’s postal zip codes. 

Wikipedia: San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio (pronounced /ˌsænænˈtoʊnioʊ/) is the second-largest city in the state of Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States of America. Located in the northern part of South Texas, the city is a cultural gateway into the American Southwest. San Antonio is the seat of Bexar County with a population just under 1.3 million as of the 2006 U.S. Census estimate, as well as the 4th fastest growing large city in the nation from 2000-2006 in terms of percentage. Its metropolitan area has a population of over 1.9 million and is the 29th-largest metropolitan area in the U.S.

San Antonio was named for the Italian Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day it was (June 13) when a Spanish expedition stopped in the area in 1691. The city has a strong military presence—it is home to Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, and Brooks City-Base, with Camp Bullis and Camp Stanley right outside the city. San Antonio is home to the South Texas Medical Center, the only medical research and care provider in the South Texas region.

Famous for its River Walk, the Alamo, Tejano culture, and home to the SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme parks, the city is visited by 20 million tourists per year. San Antonio is also home to the first museum of modern art in Texas—the Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, as well as one of the most successful National Basketball Association teams in league history, the San Antonio Spurs. 

Public Utility Commission of Texas
South Texas 210 Area Code Splits on July 7
Three-Way Split Adds New 830 and 956 Codes
(Austin, Texas, June 4, 1997)—Beginning July 7, the 210 area code, which includes San Antonio, will become one of the first area codes in the state to be split into thirds, as two new area codes, 830 and 956, go into effect.

The 210 area code will continue to serve the Greater San Antonio area, which has the most critical need for new numbers, and most of Bexar County, including Helotes, St. Hedwig, Elmendorf and Universal City.

The new 830 area code, surrounding the San Antonio metropolitan area and extending west, will serve the northern region of the previous 210 area code, including Kerrville, Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Seguin, Uvalde, Floresville, Del Rio and Eagle Pass.

The new 956 calling area, which extends from the northern border of Webb County to the southern tip of Texas in the Lower Rio Grande Valley will include Laredo, Brownsville, McAllen, Harlingen, Edinburg, Weslaco and Pharr.

Urban Dictionary
1. Countdown City
Nickname for San Antonio.
Why? The area code is 210 which is a number countdown. Two… One… Zero
I’m from Countdown City!
by derek marc san antonio Oct 11, 2006

2. countdown city
Nickname of San Antonio, Texas because of its area code number is 210. Orlando, Florida also has claim to the name because its area code is 321
The area code for Countdown City is 210.
by Alfred O. San Antonio Aug 6, 2007

Google Groups: rec.arts.bonsai
Newsgroups: rec.arts.bonsai
From: “Eugenia D. Conway”
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1993 12:55:27 -0700
Local: Tues, Nov 9 1993 2:55 pm
Subject: Re: The Bonsai Farm

You have a right to be confused. Seems the area codes in Texas are changing all the time. I looked in the phone book and the 210 area code is new as of Nov. 1, 1992. It includes the San Antonio area, which I presume used to be in the 512 area code.

Google Groups: comp.dcom.telecom
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
From: Pierre Thomson Date: 1996/11/24
Subject: Four New Area Codes For Texas Announced

According to the {Houston Chronicle}: The Texas PUC has announced the following new area codes in the state of Texas:

817 will split into three codes next year.  940 is assigned to the northern half of the area.  254 is assigned to the southern half. The Fort Worth - Arlington area will keep 817.

The 210 area code will split into three codes.  830 in the northern part of that area.  956 is assigned to the Rio Grande Valley.  San Antonio will keep 210.

Myspace.com - 1223 on 2Pac CD
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Lyrics to Countdown City (210)
So many of you have asked, demanded, begged, and threatened us to provide the lyrics to our posted songs.  We’ll, your wish has been granted....Please leave us your comments and we would love to hear you rap the lyrics.........fa real.

(Intro)
San ANtonio!
1223 and J-Rod bout’ to give ya’ll something to rep to
So throw yo stamps up baby
Remember the alamo...uh uh

(chorus)
This is for the folks in the Countdown City
‘Specially dem’ boys that been really trying to get it
Now show me that you ready throw 2-1-0
Now show me that you ready throw 2-1-0

Idiot Box
WE FROM SA
Straight from the Countdown City.
September 18, 2007

MySA.com: Roy Bragg
November 06, 2007
Satan Tonio welcomes you
Welcome to the Alamo City, also known as by a dozen or so obscure nicknames.

City nicknames can be odd. Sometimes, the Chamber of Commerce comes up with them. Other times, visitors come up with them. And very often, the hoi polloi of the community come up with them.

These nicknames can reflect the heart and soul of the community, or the delusional dreams of the residents, or the vindictive nature of neighboring communities.

I found all of these on Wikipedia. Normally, I wouldn’t trust Wikipedia with important information, but this seems harmless enough ...

Welcome to Alamo-Mission-Military-210-tonio
I’m betting that Alamo City, Military City USA, the River City and Americas City (from the Tower of the Americas) came from the Chamber-types. I use Alamo City when I write to break the monotony, but notice how none of us use it in real life.

Some quasi-hip kids, trying to emulate West Coast kids, came up with “The 2-1-0.” They use that when communicating with out-of-town friends, who live in the 7-1-3, the 5-1-2 and the 3-6-1.

And then some geeks probably came up with “Countdown City” because of the area code 2-1-0, and they thought that was funny. That’s one of the reasons the hip kids won’t hang out with the geeks.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, January 20, 2008 • Permalink