1. The accents. I know, I know, I grew up here and still sound the same, but it ends up grating on my nerves. I regard Buffalo as the far eastern outpost of the US mid-west. Everyone here has a hard, nasal “a” which I really notice since I’ve been gone for so long.
2. The architecture of the suburbs. Booooooooring.
3. The topography. Buffalo is flat as a pancake. I’m used to Eastern Massachusetts. Not exactly rolling hills out there, but more hills and dales (granted, all with houses on them) than around here. Flat, flat, flat.
4. The food. Meat. Potatoes. Sweets. Pizza. Spaghetti. Need I say more? I don’t think the refrigerator in this house would know a stalk of broccoli from a nuclear bomb. I miss veggies, although I do try to sneak them in whenever I get to the grocery store.
5. Racial tensions. They feel higher here. Whites are not even subtle in their racism, and African-Americans respond with resentment. They slow down when they see a car coming, for example, to make sure the driver has to wait for them to cross. I don’t even want to tell you what I’ve heard people in my family say about their minority neighbors (“bullet town” for black neighborhoods, for example). Ugly.
6. Political conservatism. I’m pretty liberal and I understand and appreciate that other parts of the country may not share my views. However, it would be really nice to see at least one Obama bumper sticker.