This collection of ex-military buildings features various cultural institutions, including the Museo ItaloAmericano (Building C, 673 2200, www.museoitaloamericano.org) and the airy SFMOMA Artists' Gallery (Building A, 441 4777, www.sfmoma.org), the latter selling and renting out contemporary works by northern Californians. Both museums are closed on Mondays and offer free admission on the first Wednesday of the month.
Other enterprises here include the Book Bay Bookstore (Building C, 771 1076, www.friendsandfoundation.org/bookstores.cfm), which sells rejected stock from the public library, as well as LPs and art. Over in Building D is the Magic Theatre (441 8822, www.magictheatre.org), which stages works by a mix of emerging and established playwrights in its two performance spaces. Before the performance, have dinner at Greens (Building A, 771 6222, www.greensrestaurant.com): one of the city's favourite vegetarian eateries, it is run by the San Francisco Zen Center and boasts high ceilings that frame a wide view of the Marina and the Bay. A constant array of changing displays is on view at two waterside pavilions (actually reconstituted shipbuilding bays); concerts, gardening competitions and even the local pagan community's major Halloween fête are held here. Also based on site are the administrative offices for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), responsible for the 75,398 acres that comprise one of the largest urban park areas in the world.