Contents: (1) Introduction. (2) The environment of Sgr A: Large-scale structure of the ionized gas. X-ray emission from the Sgr A complex. The relationship between neutral and ionized gas in the Sgr A complex. Associations between neutral and ionized gas near Sgr A. (3) An overview of neutral gas patterns observed in the inner Galaxy: The geometry and kinematics of the inner few kiloparsecs. A framework for the 50 km s-1 cloud. (4) The central 2 parsecs of the Galaxy: The stellar distribution. The R ≡ 2 pc ring of dust and gas. (5) The region interior to the 2-pc ring: Ionized gas associated with the ring. Ionized gas in the bar. (6) IRS 16 and Sgr A*. (7) Evidence for an energetic object. (8) Summary.