Local anachronisms

The thread about paperboys got me thinking about my hometown, Buffalo, New York, and certain anachronisms that have lasted there – things that have long since passed in most of the country. A few include:

  • Adolescents, not adults, deliver the Buffalo News

  • The Buffalo News wedding section shows pictures of brides, only – no grooms.

  • Corner stores and bars tucked deep in residential neighborhoods. (They’re probably in Houston, too, given the city’s lack of zoning.)

  • Extreme pre-Vatican II Catholicism and ethnic insularity – while “mixed marriages” (i.e. an Italian-American marrying a Polish-American) is on the rise, it’s still not as common as the “stick to your own kind” mentality.

  • Political patronage, like that of 1950s Chicago, is still the method for hiring in most area municipalities.

  • Quisp! Also, most Coke and Pepsi products available in glass bottles by default. (“Dude! It’s Mountain Dew in a 16 ounce glass bottle! Extreme!”)

Buffalo can’t be the only place outside of Colonial Williamsburg with such quaint anachronisms. Surely, there’s some part of the United States where people use letters to substitute for the first two digits of their phone number (I’m told this used to be common in NYC into the 1980s), where the mayor wears a ceremonial wig, or where Rexall drug stores are more common than Walgreens.

Well, here in Boston, our Old State House still has lion and unicorn figures representing the British monarchy.

And you still can’t buy alcohol on Sundays (except between Thanksgiving and Christmas).