I have lived here since 2002, yet still don't feel like part of the patchwork.
On the East Coast you know where you stand at all times. Murph is going to give you a big hug, or he's going to kick your ass. And you'll know pretty quickly which it is.
Here, the level of politeness is deceiving. Are people being polite to you because they're nice people and generally want to make others feel welcomed? Or, do they have some hidden agenda and is that fake sincerity more to prove they're better than you, for random reasons that you may not ever calculate?
Even with my flaws (and there are many), I prefer to know where I stand with people, and vice-versa. If I think you're an asshole, I'll let you know by my body language and communication. Please do the same back, as it will save valuable time.
I got a great backhanded compliment from a friend last week when I was asked where I came from. Boston, I replied. "But you're not rude!" she said. And she meant no harm, so no ill wishes back at her. But, I'm also not apologetic for apologies' sake, either.
It is the same thing as flirting -- if you're not into me, it's in your best interest to let me know quickly so you can mate with a more suitable partner and I can go find someone easier. To let me yammer on about politics, sports, Oprah, fabrics, etc., all in the hope I can see you naked yet without a probable chance wastes time for both of us.
Murph may not let me see him naked, but he'll tell me that before he kicks me in the balls. Here, we have fish fry. Not a great summation, but there's something to it. Long lines for cheap fish and watered-down old-fart cocktails. I'll take the chicken parm with extra sauce.