I was north of Houston, In Spring, TX this week and last. They seem very fond of making all residences the color of some variety of sand. It was true for towns west of Houston as well. In the 1980's-era section my son was in there was enormous variety of layouts for the various houses, far more than one would find in New England. Yet little variation in color. The streetnames border on the bizarre for a flat (flat!) area with no mining: Stonemist, Castlemont, Ironcrest, Enchanted Rock, Copper Hill. My son likens them to names on a map of a fantasy novel. I suppose with that many new streets in a series of suburbs spreading out the developers use up the good names pretty quickly and have to resort to lists of charming words that they throw darts at, picking two per street.
No trash barrels in public areas. I am used to every supermarket, hardware store, and strip mall having a bin outside entrances. I don't know what they are hoping to accomplish, but it did seem that there was very little litter in parking lots.
I knew I was in a very different culture when I saw big signs advertising Montessori schools, sometimes miles from the school itself. In New England, the signage can be so minimal that it's hard to locate the place. My son's girlfriend, who was an elementary school teacher and is now a children's librarian, tells me that those are often the faux Montessori schools, trading in on the name. She gave as an example a friend who had a son bring back a drawing he had made on which the directress had noted that leaves on trees were green, not pink. In a real Montessori school they would be correcting him for using green, rather than something more creative.