the car which I don't myself drive but share with the Co-Habitant, announced to us that it needs some work. It's not a big problem, but it's quirky. Unable to agree on how to go about getting it resolved, our solution was to put off the decision until we have more time and can think clearly. In the meanwhile, we have been automobile-free for about three weeks - just in time for the snow!
As far as everyday necessities go, we have felt no adverse effects so far from the lack of car. The Co-Habitant typically cycles to work anyhow, and I always cycle to my meetings and errands. We can (though normally don't always) go grocery shopping by bike. And other crucial destinations - post office, bank, hardware store, art supply store, etc. - are within manageable distance as well. When the streets were un-cyclable during the blizzard, we worked from home and walked to the grocery store. If anything, not having a car feels liberating in this respect.
The problematic aspects surface when it comes to long-distance trips. For instance, our photo studio is 14 miles away. It is accessible via the subway system, but the T stop is a considerable walk from our house. That is okay, except that sometimes we transport huge and fragile objects to and from the studio - and that cannot really be done properly other than in our car. We also travel to remote places for photoshoots - and those trips will be suspended until the car is available again. There are other things, like not being able to go to specific supply stores that are in bicycle-unfriendly locations, as well as trips that involve large and heavy cargo. So far we have dealt with these things by either finding alternative (but not ideal) solutions, or postponing them. And while so far that's been fine, I wonder how we will feel about it after several more weeks pass.
At the heart of my transportation preferences is a need to feel independent, and most of the time cycling fulfills this need for me better than other options. But sometimes the car is the appropriate tool for the job, and I have nothing but respect for the automobile in that context. I am hoping this carless period will clarify for us, what it is that we actually need from the car given our current lifestyle.