I am thinking about getting a bike so I don't have to drive or find parking in the SN area (bar hopping, maybe small grocery shopping). I would occasionally plan to ride it as far as Grandview and Clintonville. What is the best kind of bike for that kind of thing (ten speed, mtn bike stc)? I do not plan on spending a lot of money as I will probably have to chain it up outside as my condo is pretty small. Would a target/walmart bike be good enough?
Any suggestions/knowledge would be appreciated
Skip the big box and hit up Third Hand or Franklinton Cycle Works. You'll get something of far better value, more than likely better constructed and will be supporting an organization doing great work in this town. I would suggest finding the room in your condo for the bike-there are some great options that won't take up much space to store the bike (things like wall hooks or no screw options that get the bike off the floor).
If space is really an issue for indoor storage, consider heading to Paradise Garage in the short north and taking a look at their line of folding bikes. The lower end of the folding bike lines will run you $350-500. As much as I encourage supporting the local shops, there are some folding bikes online at a lower price new. You can always find a vintage folder on ebay (I have a vintage folder sitting in the living room awaiting project time I got for under $100 w/ shipping) and have the local shop tune it up.
Whatever you get, make sure it fits you and is something you will ride. Invest in a good lock and lights.U-locks are great, sturdy and somewhat easy to carry. A bit pricey but worth walking out to your bike instead of a $5 cable lock cut on the sidewalk. For a cheaper option on locks try Bike Registry. I use this as my main lock with a Kryptonite cable to secure the wheel.
If riding at night, invest in good lights. The goal is to not only see the road but be seen by drivers. Expect $30-60. There are some great options to use bright LED flashlights in place of traditional bike specific head lights. Google is a good resource, as is bikeforums.com and our forums at Yay Bikes.
If it's been a while since you've ridden or you are unfamiliar with urban riding it's definitely worth seeking out some of the instructional options in town. Gives you a lot of confidence and better understanding of the laws and how to operate.