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Today's newsletter is 924 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Yep, it's really expensive here

Cost-of-living index in San Diego, Q3 2023
Data: The Council for Economic and Social Research; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Surprising no one, San Diego is among the most expensive cities in the country.

Driving the news: San Diego is America's eighth priciest city, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research's quarterly cost-of-living index, designed to measure "regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services," Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report.

  • San Diego's cost of living is about 40 points higher than the average American city, based on prices for housing, utilities, transportation, groceries, health care and goods and services, placing it roughly in line with Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Oakland.

Of note: The group broke New York into separate boroughs. If it hadn't, New York as a whole would have come in as the most expensive city in America.

The big picture: The report underscores the persistence of "the coastal tax," with the most expensive cities in the country clustered along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

Cost-of-living index, Q3 2023
Data: The Council for Economic and Social Research; Note: Map only shows urban areas with more than 100,000 people; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

By the numbers: The driving forces behind San Diego's ranking were in housing and transportation.

  • Housing in San Diego came in 114 points above the average of the 269 urban areas included in the report.
  • California is home to six of the 12 cities with the most expensive transportation in the country. That includes San Diego, where transportation costs are 26 points above the average of the urban areas included.
  • San Diego's utilities and health care costs were the most affordable of the areas included in the cost-of-living index, with both coming in just above average.

Tell a fellow local

2. Hoke out at SDSU

Retiring SDS head coach Brady Hoke during September's game against UCLA at Snapdragon Stadium. Photo: Tom Hauck/Getty Images

San Diego State will have a new football coach next year.

Driving the news: The university announced yesterday morning that Brady Hoke is retiring at the end of the season, which will not include a bowl game for the first time since 2009.

Why it matters: One year after opening the $310 million Snapdragon Stadium, the university's football program is in flux, sitting in last place in a conference it tried to exit this summer, searching for a new coach, and playing for half-capacity crowds. That led the school to offer complimentary tickets for remaining games earlier this month.

The intrigue: Hoke's departure was framed as a retirement, but the Union-Tribune reported he was forced out.

  • The distinction isn't just gossip: Hoke's contract carried a $4.8-million buyout that would be in play if he was fired.
  • The Union-Tribune reported Hoke and the university were still negotiating a buyout as of Sunday night.

What we're watching: Hoke's contract, which had three years remaining, paid him $1.27 million per year, ranking him eighth among the 12 coaches in the Mountain West Conference, and 78th among the 119 coaches included in USA Today's salary database.

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3. The Lineup: Unused veteran vouchers

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🏡 Many of the housing vouchers San Diego distributes to homeless people are reserved for veterans. Hundreds of those vouchers for homeless veterans are going unused. (Union-Tribune)

🛣️ Little Italy businesses are opposing a plan that would remove parking on Grape Street to add a bike lane and another lane for cars, arguing it will divide the neighborhood. Officials pursuing the project say it will ease congestion. (KPBS)

🌧️ Storms from tomorrow through the weekend could dump up to an inch of rain before clearing out and giving way to dry, warm weather next week. (City News Service)

4. Coffee shops to work from

Palmy's in Pacific Beach. Photo: Kate Murphy/Axios

Going to a coffee shop can boost productivity and happiness when working remote every day, but choosing the right vibe can be overwhelming.

State of play: Remote work dipped in San Diego last year but continued to outpace the nationwide average, with nearly 20% of the workforce working from home in 2022.

Here are some of the coffee shops around San Diego where we love to get work done:

Moniker Coffee Co. in Liberty Station

  • What to expect: A big, open space with a coastal, desert aesthetic that has delicious drinks, a bar that opens in the afternoon and a home goods shop.
  • Work vibes: Bustling with students and young professionals, this place isn't the quietest, especially when the occasional airplane roars overhead. Free parking is plentiful and there are big tables to post up inside or on one of the two patios, plus lounge seating.

FourTillFour Cafe in Encinitas

  • What to expect: With coffee served out of a vintage camper trailer, this coastal, garden-style outdoor space has picnic tables with plenty of shade and a covered patio.
  • Work vibes: If fresh air gets your creative juices flowing, this is the spot because it's all outdoors. Make sure your devices are charged because there aren't many outlets. Pups are welcome!

Palmy's in Pacific Beach

  • What to expect: A craftsman bungalow near the beach that's been refreshed into a neighborhood cafe with low-key, coastal boho decor. Share a table or take your own space on the porch or shaded garden patio.
  • Work vibes: Busy, but quiet with enough indoor seating and good music that's not distracting. The only con to the mostly outdoor seating situation is the lack of outlets. Ask for a voucher to connect to the Wi-Fi.

A few more…

Plan your future

💼 See current open positions on our Job Board.

  1. Senior Sales Representative, Performance Contracting at Honeywell.
  2. Director of Growth and Analytics at Intuit.
  3. Director of Marketing at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Use code FIRST50 for $50 off your first job post.

5. Reader Recs: Coffee spots

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Axios San Diego readers also offered some of their favorite coffee shops to work from.

Barefoot Coffee Roasters in Solana Beach

What they're saying: "Great vibe and beans, friendly and accommodating service, with my favorite spot being by the outdoor fire pit, which is great for working as well as people watching," Jay W. wrote.

Scrimshaw Coffee in El Cerrito

What they're saying: It's the "perfect spot to work and sip a cup of Vietnamese coffee and a loaded breakfast bagel," Drew C. says.

Our picks:

🎤 Andy is still thinking about how good Jeff Lynne and ELO were Sunday night.

🍷 Kate is taking her parents to Temecula next weekend. Got any winery recommendations?

This newsletter was edited by Gigi Sukin and copy edited by Keely Bastow.