December 19, 2015 I backed out of my driveway in Buffalo, New York and started a journey to the Lone Star State. When I finally arrived in Texas and began to settle down I noticed major culture changes. From the food, to the way people talk, even the way people drive and act. New York and Texas are nearly different counties.
In Texas, the food revolves around BBQ and Mexican cuisine. I have had some BBQ down here that is unlike anything I have ever had before. Any BBQ I had in New York tastes like fast food in comparison to Texas.
The brisket here has a moist, smoky flavor, compared to New York which taste like microwaved processed food. Texas BBQ demolishes New York. The same goes for Mexican food in Texas. In New York, Moe’s and Chipotle are staples in the diets of many Buffalonians. However, in Texas you can go to a local restaurant and have some the best Mexican food you may have ever had.
However, Texans do not know good “comfort food”. Comfort meaning pizzeria style of food.
Some that I have met during my short time here have tried to argue their pizza is good, and I reject this idea entirely. Any pizza I have tried down here tastes nothing like pizza from Buffalo. To be perfectly honest, the pizza down here is completely unbearable.
Don’t even get me started on wings. Chicken wings in Texas are nothing compared to Buffalo, where they are known for their chicken wings. Also they are chicken wings, not buffalo wings. Beyond wings, New York has great pizzeria foods. The subs are delicious, as well as fried comfort foods.
Speech was one of the things I first noticed a difference in once I arrived in Texas. I had never heard a person say “y’all” until I moved down here. Most people from Buffalo say “you guys”, but almost never say y’all. Also I have been told that my accent elongates vowels, while to me most people who are born in Texas have a small twang to their speech. I also get ridiculed for using the word “pop”- I am constantly told it’s “soda”.
I’ve also noticed that when people in Texas talk, their speech is really slowed down compared to New York. Most of the time people ask me to slow down.
Driving in both states is completely different. In New York our high ways go to about 65 mph, while on some parts of Texas highway hit 75. This is absolutely unheard of in Buffalo. Also there are five lanes of highway, which Buffalo also does not have at all, so the amount of traffic I have witnessed is insane to me. Even New York City doesn’t have that much traffic because their local transportation is more readily available than down in the Houston area.
The way people act in Texas is much more polite than New York State. In New York it is considered okay to stare at others while they are completing a task, however I quickly learned that in Texas staring is completely rude and if you stare, someone might kick your ass. Outside of staring, Texans are much nicer. When at the store the cashier might have a conversation with the customer, while in New York State this may never occur. Texans are friendly and willing to talk and go the extra mile, while those from New York walk with their heads down trying to get from point A to point B.
When it comes to sports, Texans love their college sports immensely. In Buffalo it is nothing like that, we care about our pro teams.
The Buffalo Bills are the greatest team in our eyes, and if they win the city is filled with joy. On days they lose the people of Buffalo are much more filled with hate for the opposing team and sadness for the Bills. However we don’t care about our college sports as much. The view is that if our college teams do well it’s a bonus, but we don’t “live” on our college teams like Texans do.
I have also noticed that the majority of Texans love football or basketball while some are into baseball. Buffalo is a place built on football and hockey. People in Texas know what hockey is, but definitely haven’t experienced a hockey town like Buffalo.
Religion is another major difference in the two states. In New York going to church is an afterthought. We go to church when we have time. In Texas, religion is everything to many. Texas is extremely religious compared to New York. I feel that the state of Texas is more widely diverse with religions than in New York, but I predominantly see a large number of Baptist churches down here, which is something I did not see as much back up north.
Although I have heard that the weather in Texas changes its mind every five minutes, the weather in Texas is beautiful compared to Buffalo. Wearing shorts in January is wonderful!
Back in Buffalo they deal with snow and ice and temperatures can reach 0 degrees. The frigid cold from the north is absent here in Texas. I do understand the summers are going to be incredibly hot, but it beats being locked inside a house because there is almost 4-5 feet of snow outside your door.
Personally, I do miss home quite a bit.
I miss Mike’s Spongecandy, the delicious pizza, chicken wings, the Buffalo Bills, the Buffalo Sabres and all in all the Buffalo culture. However, Texas has become home to me. I love living in Texas and I love the culture change. I still think it will take me years to get used to everything, but I am adjusting. I love the weather, the people and the overall change. Texas will always be missing items from my original home, but still, I am proud to call Texas my new home.
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Being a fellow NY'er, in Texas now for 40 years I enjoyed reading your story and found myself chuckling several times. I totally agree with the Pizza, though since I have been here I have found that if in a mall that has a Sabarro's I go get a slice of pie because it is the next best thing to a NY pizza. I was a little puzzled with your comment about it being okay to stare at people while doing a task because I was taught that it was never nice to stare, but I guess different areas in NY may vary a little. I was born in the Bronx and raised on LI so that is quite a ways from Buffalo. I loved visiting upstate as a child, we had a summer home and in the winter we went up there and went tobogganing. Also, just a few years ago, about 10, my son was stationed and my second grandchild was born in Watertown NY, which I am sure you are familiar with . I remember the disappointment when I arrived in Texas and went to the local Piggly Wiggly and asked for Italian Sausage and was directed to "breakfast sausage", I wanted to sit right in the store and cry, thank God Texas has come a long way since then, matter of fact I can even go to Kroger and get Cannoli's :). Well, have a great day and thanks for the memories of home it was great to read!
Huntsville does not have a respectable place to get pizza, other than your everyday franchises', they also do not have an authentic Italian restaurant either (Unless you consider Olive Garden to be authentic Italian). The best place (And closest) to get great NY style pizza and Italian food is called "Joes Pizza and Pasta" in Conroe, TX. I used to live in Conroe for about 5 years before moving back to Huntsville and they were even voted "Best Pizza and Italian Food In the Houston Area", even though they are located about 45 minutes north of Houston. If either of you are in the Conroe area, look it up, it's definitely 5 stars.