What is it like to live in Akron, OH?
We're the 5th biggest city in Ohio, just under Toledo's population so we have a breadth of neighborhoods. Some examples: if living downtown, you see how much of that has been absorbed for a planned growth of residential UAkron students. South of downtown and the campus gets rough, yes, and a few other neighborhoods, but they're interspersed. the public school system has shrunk so a handful of schools have closed, mostly elementary schools, and several have been rebuilt within the last decade, including East High. Two biggest shopping areas Chapel Hill mall with Howe Ave plazas on the Cuyahoga Falls border and on the west side is Summit Mall, a little fancier than Chapel Hill, with the rest of the shopping area a quarter mile further west of the Copley/Fairlawn borders. The west side may be a little more posh and a arguably better property value with Ellet equivalent values pretty close.
There are several city parks plus most of the Summit County Metro Parks in or bordering the city. The Gorge is arguably the prettiest with the valleys leading down to the Cuyahoga River. Some city parks get a little rough but as a lower middle income kid growing up (I'm 25 now) I wasn't worried at most of the parks. The Summit County parks have a fully functional police force that patrols, but the parks close at dark anyways.
Entertainment options have really grown with a plethora of restaurants downtown and west side. Both shopping areas mentioned have most of the chain restaurants, but downtown and west side have more small chain and independent restaurants. Craft beer is just as big here as Cleveland proportionately with great taps at several bars the The Office in North Hill or 69 Taps, Lockview, Baxter's, etc. downtown. Our biggest breweries are Thirsty Dog and Hoppin Frog, but in the last couple years we have microbreweries opening up with two almost next door to each other in the Akron Valley Area that approaches the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Live entertainment includes big acts that hit UAkron's EJ Thomas Hall (home of Akron Symphony) and Akron Civic Center in downtown, with smaller venues including Musica (stone's throw from Civic), Annabelle's (Highland Square/near west side), and others. Outdoors downtown in the Summer includes Lock 3 live next to our historic canal that runs through downtown.
Plus, if you get really bored in Akron, you can shoot up to Cleveland!