I have lived:
Oakland (actually I have an Emeryville zip code, but we are in Oakland beside the Berkeley border so there are signs saying "Welcome to Oakland" all around so I am sure I live there.)
That isn't a lot of places, but I nonetheless feel that I would like to live in the San Francisco bay area for my adult life. There is just so much here! (I am mainly comparing it to SC, of course, because that is where I lived from 18-20) For example, to direct people to my home in SC I would have to use the university main entrance as the orientation point. Because it is mainly the only thing around, you know? But in Oakland there is a giant public sculpture I can give as a landmark.
When looking up a picture of it I found some interesting criticisms of the message of it (I think it's self aware and not a slight to Oakland), but I linked to one that seemed more neutral.
Anyway, there are all sorts of nice things about Oakland and the east bay. There are a lot of very nice schools here, such as Contra Costa College (I have my first sculpture class of the summer there in a few hours, and so I can't vouch for quality of instruction yet but the campus is sooo lovely.) but also such as UC, Mills, and the school I am sort of aiming for for grad school (more than 2 years away still), California College of the Arts.
Also, it has got a lot of crime. This is a map of my neighborhood. (I believe if you click on it the words will be legible, but basically each little round arrow is a homicide, color coded for each of 3 years that are displayed)