While many of the buildings on the former military base have been converted to civilian uses, such as sports clubs and distilleries, some continue to serve military functions, like storing the jet that used to be on display at the base's portside entrance (until high winds blew it off its pedestal two winters ago). The naval station is also the perfect place to hide domesticated bunnies. A herd of them live in and around a tumbledown shed opposite the Port of Oakland. Then there are the jackrabbits, which flash across the base's open spaces at night, hind legs glinting in the moonlight. It's easy to miss the flock of black-crowned night herons, which pose one-legged every winter on the lawns of "The Great Whites"-<\d>houses where the naval officers once lived. But who could forget the hawk that roosts atop the Hangar One distillery and periodically swoops to grab a tasty, unsuspecting victim off the otherwise empty runways where The Matrix Reloaded was shot?
1190 W. Tower, Alameda
BEST PUTT-PUTT ON THE 'CIDE
Since 1998, Cyclecide has been enchanting and sometimes scaring audiences with its punk rock-<\d>inspired, pedal-powered mayhem. But after 11 years of taking its bicycle-themed carnival rides, rodeo games, and live band to places like Coachella, Tour de Fat, and Multnomah County Bike Fair, the bicycle club is putting down roots, or rather, fake grass. This year the crew famous for tall bikes, bicycle jousting, and denim jackets with a cackling clown on the back is building Funland, an 18-hole mini golf course in the Bayview. Though sure to be fun for the whole family, rest assured that Funland will retain all of Cyclecide's boundary-pushing humor and lo-fi sensibility. Yes, there will be a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge built by master welder Jay Broemmel, but you can also putt through Closeupofmyass, a landscape of rubber tubes springing from brown Astroturf. What else would you expect from a crew whose interests are "bikes, beer, and building stuff"?
BEST NO FRILLS FIRST AID
It's nice for big companies to notice that women buy things other than cleaning supplies and facial cream. But do they have to make everything targeted toward the female demographic so freakin' floral and pink and cloyingly girlie? Adventure Medical Kits the Oakland-based company famous in sports circles for outfitting everyone from backcountry skiers to weekend car-campers with durable, complete first-aid packages says a resounding no. Its women's edition outdoor medical kit comes jam-packed with all the fixings adventurous boys get wound care materials, mini tweezers, insect-bite salve, a variety of medications, and a first-aid booklet plus a couple things only ladies need, like tampons, leak-safe tampon bags, menstrual relief meds, and compact expands-in-water disposable towels. And it's all packaged in a sporty blue nylon bag that weighs less than a pound. No lipstick? No diet pills? No frilly, lacy case made to look like a purse or a bra or a tiny dog? We're buying it.
BEST PLACE TO GET ROLLIN'
When one thinks of skate shops these days, one's thoughts travel naturally to wicked Bloodwizard decks, Heartless Creeper wheels, and Venture trucks everything you'd need to trick out your board before you cruise to Potrero de Sol. All those goodies are available at Cruz Skate Shop, as well as Lowcard tees, recycled skateboard earrings, Protec helmets, and much more. But boarding is boring. You've done it since you were 13. Isn't it time to ditch that deck and take up a real sport like, say, roller skating? Hell, yes.