The same rules apply to color or black and white. Composition, line and form, pattern and juxtaposition of visual elements all play a critical roll in making something visually interesting.
I agree that seeing in Black and white is BS. Everyone sees in color unless you are colorblind. Envisioning what something will look like reproduced in black and white is a skill that is learned through practice and patience.
As an artist who works in a wide range of mediums in addition to photography I have learned to do this. When you have to draw something in black and white, you learn to interpret color as values and through trial and error learn what works and what renders flat.
With that said, your first images looks like street photography to me. The second violates the rule of observation. The subject should be involved in their activity and not the photographer.