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How the Bay Area’s 25 largest cities rank on ‘quality of life’ metrics — and how that compares with affordability

Where’s the best place to live in the Bay Area? It depends what you are looking for, of course. But while no single method could definitively crown one city as having the best quality of life, The Chronicle made our best effort to rank the region’s 25 largest cities. We based our rankings on 11 qualities for which there is widely available data. These measures include: bars, bike score, racial and ethnic diversity, distance to the nearest airport, number of food retailers, libraries, movie thea

Why tons of people suddenly are getting married in Humboldt County

Love is in the air in Humboldt County. Marriage licenses from the California Department of Public Health show Humboldt County marriage licenses are up 56% in 2021 compared with 2019, from 735 licenses to 1150. Merced, Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties are also up over 35% in the same time period. In contrast, Los Angeles, Santa Clara and San Diego counties, which hold California’s three largest cities, are all down by more than 20%. Humboldt County wedding officiant Paul Marsh says it is not t

The geography of San Francisco’s bars is changing

The new bars in San Francisco are not headed downtown. Liquor license data from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control shows bars and restaurants with full-sale liquor licenses in San Francisco are popping up in different neighborhoods than before. A bar or restaurant must have a full-sale liquor license to sell beer, wine and liquor. In 2021, the number of liquor licenses obtained by establishments in neighborhoods like Chinatown, the Marina, the Castro/Upper Market and the I

OpenTable data shows San Francisco restaurants are starting their comeback from omicron

After a downturn because of the omicron coronavirus surge, restaurant reservations in San Francisco are beginning to rebound despite continuing high case rates. Reservations are still down an average of 63% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019, but data from OpenTable shows an 8 percentage point increase in reservations from Jan. 12, 2021 to Jan. 20. In addition, the percentage of San Francisco restaurants taking reservations on OpenTable rose 15 percentage points in the week of Jan. 5 to the week o