From my apartment I can walk to three markets (Albertson's, Vons, and Ranch Market) within minutes. I didn't appreciate how convenient this situation was until I had to buy supplies for a social gathering at the last minute. I walked out the door to Ranch Market, bought some hummus, cheese and a bottle of wine and was back in my living room in under ten minutes. No traffic, no stress. I found the experience very satisfying and direct.
I'm also fortunate to live within very easy biking distance from my office. I still have my car for far flung errands, but I don't need it to live my life. If oil goes back up to $200 a barrel, I'm fine. If my car breaks down, I'm fine. It's a very liberating feeling.
Tonight I've been playing with an online gadget that looks up amenities within walking distance of an address and then grades that location on walkability. My home address in Tropico scored 88/100 - Very Walkable. And my office in downtown Glendale? 97/100 - Walkers' Paradise.
Look up your WalkScore here. This would be a great tool to use when apartment hunting.