While living in NY, I walked everywhere. When I first got there, I often took the subway, but soon enough realized that walking is what really gets you somewhere. It almost always gets you something, as well. I gained new friendship, gathered new goodies, and rarely met a sidewalk-discarded-something-or-other I didn't pick up and take home.
I never had a car, I never longed for a car, I never needed a car. There wasn't any other place to go, why would I need a car to get there?
When we moved to SF, everyone said it was a car-kind-of-town. Since we had planned to drive across country, it seemed a perfect marriage of new place + used car = new life. After 2 years of tickets, parking frustrations, and a one-time towing, the car had seen it's day (the breakdown on the freeway--the car's, then mine-- might have been the actual straw that broke the camels back). We donated it that summer and never looked back. We've been car-less now for a little over 2 years and, while I don't exactly love it all the time, I have recently re-discovered my old NY-walking-feet-ways!
When I was driving the car, I never looked around. I used to get truly frustrated trying to navigate this city and it's one-way streets. Once the car was gone, I moved to the bike, which gave me great insight to the city. While avoiding curbs, people, poles and parked cars, I looked up, down and all around as much as possible. I was moving slower and had a lot less blind spots than in a car. Of course, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and that good time came to an end when my bike got stolen.
Back to my own two feet.
Maybe I'm just feeling a bit melancholy because any month now, I'm hoping we'll actually get a car.