In fact, cars tend to be a necessity in most American neighborhoods. Drive the streets of the suburbs, or even the exoburbs, of any American city and you may notice nothing but houses for miles. If you didn't have a car, you might starve before you could walk to a grocery store.
We don't have a car. But we live in an anomaly of an American city--the Big Apple--New York City.
So, we rented a car. Because we're driving 9,000 miles. Coast-to-coast-to-coast. The Atlantic to the Pacific and back again.