"I wonder how much of one's perception of what the world ought to look like is a function of what one appreciated about the world in one's youth?"
I never appreciated life in a small town when I was a youth. That evolved over several decades as an adult. That appreciation may be built more on a foundation of myth than reality, but the abode is safe and comfortable and I will not leave.
Cuba, NY!!! When I was a kid our milk was home delivered in quart size glass bottles, heavy cream on the top. It came from the Cuba Dairy.
What did your company own in Utica? I'm guessing the 258 Building or the Boston Store parking garage.