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      1 <h1>No Cars</h1>
      2 <p>I have not owned a car since 2016, when I graduated college. I now live in New
      3 York, specifically: Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in a place that has the least
      4 car-centric infrastructure of any place I've lived. Even the difference between
      5 living in Brooklyn and a place like San Francisco or Chicago is striking. I
      6 did not own a car either of those cities, but I still knew people who owned
      7 cars, I occasionally used rideshare, and felt like the city was more or less
      8 built around cars, with a transit "option".</p>
      9 <p>Since I moved into this apartment two months ago, I have not been in a car a
     10 single time, and with my lifestyle as it is, I can do this with only mild
     11 inconvenience. I can get anywhere I want to go in New York in the subway, which
     12 both runs 24 hours and is quite normal and safe to take late at night. I've
     13 been setting a challenge to myself to see how long I can go without being in a
     14 car. I've been surprised by how easy it's been so far.</p>
     15 <p>Within just two city blocks, I live by five grocery stores, one of which is on my
     16 block. Most of the places I lived in Chicago and San Francisco, it took me a 15
     17 minutes to go to a decently-sized grocery. I go to the closest one, at the end
     18 of my block, probably every single day.</p>
     19 <p>New York is a lively and vibrant city, and I'd assert that one key reason for
     20 this is that it is the one and only city in America that isn't built around
     21 cars. The closest city I've experienced is San Francisco, which mostly gets
     22 away with the fact that it's relatively small and highly walkable, even though
     23 its intra-city transit is actually quite mediocre. </p>
     24 <p>Not having a car, an extremely expensive, enormously wasteful machine, is
     25 somehow a luxury in America, when it should be the complete opposite.
     26 This is because automobile infrastructure was not built by consumer demand, but
     27 rather forced upon this country by policy. Building a city around cars is just
     28 about the most irrational thing you can to by almost any measure, and yet
     29 America has chosen to do this nearly everywhere. </p>
     30 <p>I have chosen to abstain from having a car, and it has guided a lot of major
     31 decisions in my life (e.g. where to live). I hope to continue this as long as
     32 is reasonably possible, but America unfortunately makes this quite difficult. I
     33 strive in my personal and political life to try and build a different world, I
     34 don't think cars have no place in a city, and many people have careers or
     35 lifestyles that require them, but I hope that in the future, more and more, our
     36 transporation infrastructure looks more like Paris or Amsterdam than Phoenix or
     37 Houston.</p>