More Weird ZIP Codes on the New York Times' Netflix Map

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 13 2010 7:26 AM

More Weird ZIP Codes on the New York Times' Netflix Map

On Monday, I wrote a post about the New York Times Netflix map , identifying ZIP codes with bizarre rental tendencies and inviting Slate readers to find their own examples. You answered the call, locating a handful of idiosyncratic ZIPs with no interest in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button , Rachel Getting Married , or the other recent Oscar contenders that dominate the rest of the map.

Some of your discoveries fit into the categories I wrote about on Monday. A number of you noticed, for instance, that ZIP code 55450 is home to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport . Like LaGuardia and O'Hare, it has a unique list:

1. Battlestar Galactica: Season 3: Disc 3
2. Battlestar Galactica: Season 3: Disc 2
3. Battlestar Galactica: Season 3: Disc 1

That's it; there are only three movies listed on its Top 10, suggesting a single account, and a new one at that.

I had also pointed out the collegiate—some might say sophomoric—taste of ZIP code 80208, which is home to the University of Denver. Slate readers found a handful of other college campuses, all of them with preferences outside the mainstream. Among them are California State University Long Beach (90840; No. 2: Berserk: Vol. 1: War Cry ), University of Maryland College Park (20742; No. 5: Sex Drive ), and University of Washington (98195; No. 9: Pineapple Express ). My favorite college campus, though, is that of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (20064), which several readers came across on the map. Its Top 10 would seem to reflect the interests of a budding journalist, or perhaps the syllabus of a media-studies course:

1. The Truman Show
2. Citizen Kane
3. Broadcast News
4. Control Room
5. Talk to Me
6. Being There
7. Good Night, and Good Luck
8. All the President's Men
9. Talk Radio
10. The War Tapes

Many readers noticed that race seems to play a role in the preferences of some ZIP codes. The work of Tyler Perry ( The Family That Preys ; Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail ), for example, makes a strong showing in several ZIP codes in Greater Atlanta and in the 75237 ZIP in Dallas. Other readers pointed out that military installations were less likely to be enamored of Oscar bait. In Greater Boston, there is Hanscom Air Force Base (01731; No. 3: New in Town ); in Maryland, there is Andrews Air Force Base (20762, No. 1: Yes Man ).

For sheer wackiness, there's no beating federal employees. See, for instance, 90073, in Los Angeles, home to the Veterans Administration (No. 1: Swimming With Sharks ; No. 2: The Big Lebowski ). Reader Tony Drollinger e-mailed to flag Minnesota ZIP 55111, which is just east of the aforementioned Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. "I'm an employee of the US Fish & Wildlife Service at Fort Snelling," writes Tony. "This area is comprised of my large federal building (which also houses people from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, and several branches of the military). Next door to us is an Air Force base, and other parts of the ZIP Code house a MN DOT building, the VA hospital, a state park, a public golf course, a private tennis club, and a bar/restaurant." In other words, not many residents, and presumably only a few Netflix accounts:


1. Weeds: Season 4: Disc 3
2. The Notebook
3. Do Not Adjust Your Set: Disc 2
4. Star Trek
5. Touch the Sound
6. 27 Dresses
7. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
8. The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice
9. Highlander
10. Righteous Kill

Thanks to all the readers who wrote in with strange ZIPs. Email me at if you find a great one that I left out. In the meantime, I will be adding The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice to my own Brooklyn-based Netflix queue. It features an all-star cast of Noah Wyle, Bob Newhart, Jane Curtin, and is directed by Star Trek: The Next Generation 's Jonathan Frakes . How can you go wrong?

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.



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