I haven't owned a bike in years....perhaps 13 or so. I recently realized I'm not going to be able to afford a car soon, what with very high tuition and rent. I dropped a few hundred on an OK Mongoose XR-200 with full suspension; it looks really good to me, regardless. I bought it at Bellitte Bikes in Jamaica, Queens..pickup is on Monday! I can't wait I'm going to ride it to the train, hop on, and get off 15 blocks from home...all on my own power!
Good luck! I was without a car for a while in college and picked up a cheap 10 spd bike back in '74 to commute to work and school in Nassau - lived in East Meadow, worked in Bethpage and went to school in Old Westbury at NYIT. Fortunately I had a high school friend that was a racer that opened my eyes up to the possibilities of covering distance on a bike. I put on about 40 miles a day and have been hooked on bikes ever since. Take advantage of being able to commute by bike. It way more pleasurable than sitting in a car, and a heck of a lot cheaper. I still ride my '74 Atala after that other one got swiped.