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Personal Interests and Hobbies

My Interests
, I am a connoisseur of nothing. But I know what I like!

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my career in print and online publishing, my side work and my avid interest in the NBA. But there is more to Allan Brown. I consider myself to be an interesting and well-rounded man with much to offer. This section will tell you a bit more about Allan Brown.

The Bear Visits Beijing

On January 14, 2007, a new chapter in the People’s Republic of China began. Only time will tell if this era holds more significance than the Ming Dynasty or the regime of Chairman Mao. On this historic date, the Bear that sits prominently on the flag of the People’s Republic was offically justified. Allan Brown (aka BEAR) made his first visit to China.

My visit was official business for Atta Publishing, a small publishing services company based in northern CA. My purpose was to open new doors for Atta, evaluating the needs of Chinese publishers in terms of content acquisition as well as the creation of new advertising/sponsorship opportunities with American marketers. Our business efforts went very well (no need to discuss here; only time will tell if I was successful), but I am intriqued by the culture of a communist country trying to find itself in a free market world. As a visitor, I could appreciate the changes that were being made by modern Chinese men and women. While I saw an overwhelming about of remnants from the Mao regime interms of culture and dress, the vision of the young people who are enjoying learning and assimulating to western life is fascinating. Beijing is a bustling city that is behind other Chinese urban centers (i.e. Shanghai) in terms of modernization, but growing fast. The city is littered with hundreds of crains and construction cities, many directly related to restoring old buildings (Forbidden City) and building new structures for the 2008 Olympics. Traffic jams abound throughout Beijing, which in my mind in New York on steroids.

The geography of Beijing is flat – no hills, only highway overpasses. But 40 minutes north of Beijing sits the Great Wall, nestled in the mountains. The Great Wall is not as imposing as I had thought but it is majestic. Spanning over 3,200 miles, the part of the Wall I visited was steep. Thank goodness it was sunny and dry that day because in cold weather, the Wall can be one long and steep sheet of ice. It was cold and all visitors were bundled up. I wore four layers, with hat, scarf and gloves and I was still cold. People from all over the world visit the Great Wall but I must say it is nothing that you should do once. No need for a return trip to the Great Wall.

I gotta tell you, the food in Beijing is incredibly good. Perhaps my translator knew where to take me but I eat very well. Peking Duck, traditional King’s lunch, non-endemic foods from southern China (dim sum) and Japan (sushi) were outrageously good. And yes, I did go on a small shopping spree, buying some jade items and silk sheets.

Overall, a great trip. Next time, I will spend more time and perhaps go to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau and venture into southeast Asia.

Allan Brown for Mayor of San Francisco

Ladies and Gentlemen of San Francisco (and the United States). I will not take much of your time, but I wish to announce my candidacy for the office of Mayor of San Francisco.

There are many reasons why I have chosen to declare my candidacy to lead my adopted hometown into the real world. But first and foremost, I am fed up with the immoral and arrogant political machine in San Francisco and I am taking a stand with the intent to stop the nonsense.
Please note that my candidacy will promote the following agenda:

Helping small businesses prosper in this great city

  • Promoting big business and encouraging other large corporations to headquarter in, as Herb Caen affectionately labeled San Francisco, “Baghdad by the Bay”. (note – Baghdad by the Bay mourned the 10th anniversay of Herb Caen’s passing this last Thursday, Feb.1.
  • The right to a free parking spot for every San Franciscan!!!
  • Minimizing the number of entitlement programs presently providing freeloaders with a free ride
  • Building a state of the art professional football facility at the corner of Marina Boulevard and Fillmore Street.
  • Decreasing the minimum wage for servers and bartenders.The savings will be passed to diners in the form of lower prices for entrees in SF restaurants. Also, a percentage of the newly disposable funds will go into a kitty earmarked for training servers and bartenders fundamental service techniques, such as “Hello, my name is Tom and I will be your waiter this evening” as well as how to count change from a $20 bill.
  • Increasing fines for double-parked taxis on city streets.
  • Also, please note that you have my solemn promise that I will not bed the wife or girlfriend of any friend, colleague, city official or business partner, especially if she has a chemical dependency. All other women are fair game.

For more information about my campaign, or to apply for the position of Campaign Manager, please contact me via email at

Addendum – please note that the campaign is gainly steam. However, one key contributor has asked that I elaborate on a few issues pertaining to SF Pop Culture. Therefore, without further delay.

  • Changing restaurant and bar hours from 2am closing to 4am shutdowns on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
  • Building a Mt. Rushmore-esque monument celebrating the lives of Bay Area legends Carlos Santana, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and Country Joe McDonald.
  • A statue of NYG Mark Bavaro carrying SFO’s Ronnie Lott and other members of the Gay Brigade down the green lawn of Candlestick Park on Monday night, December 1, 1986.
  • The brand new pipe recycling plant to be located at the corner of Haight and Ashbury.
  • My first free live concert, starring the children who were conceived during the Summer of Love.

Richard Nixon and I

Richard Nixon and I share the love of politics, education, the NY Giants and most importantly, chinese food. After Nixon resigned from the presidency in 1974, he moved to Saddle River, NJ, about five miles from my hometown of Spring Valley, NY. Nixon kept a low profile, seldom seen around town (for the obvious reasons). However, he was a frequent customer at the New China Restaurant on Chestnut Ridge Road in Woodcliff Lake, NJ. My family used to eat at New China regularly and always wondered when we would run into Nixon (saw him at a NYG/DAL football game in ’88, but that is another story).

When you walked into New China, an autographed picture of Richard Nixon was prominently displayed by the cashier’ station. Everybody who went to the restaurant had to see the picture. Well one day, circa 1980, New China burned to the ground. We lost our Chinese restaurant! Terrible thing. Took six months to rebuild. But, after they rebuilt the restaurant, the food was better than ever, the table and chairs were new and right above the cashier’s station was a picture of Richard Nixon! This gave my brother Michael and I a good laugh or five. After all, it was great to see that the picture survived the fire. Living in NYC metro area, things like that just didn’t surprise us. Everytime we went to New China, we would just snicker. One time I was a bit obnoxious and asked the hostess about the picture. She quickly changed the subject. hmm,….

Circa 1999 – New China burned again! Awful, bloody awful. Nobody was hurt, but Nixon’s favorite Chinese restaurant was down for the count. But have no fear, the restaurant opened again one year later. Better food, new decour and Nixon’s picture back in its old familiar spot, on the wall, right by the cashier’s station!

You are all educated people. Draw your own conclusions!

Note – New China has recently changed hands and Nixon’s picture has disappeared from the restaurant.

Anna Nicole and I

I know you all think I am joking, but I need to let the world know of my deep dark secret. I do not make this announcement for my benefit, but rather for the health and safety of my infant daugther. I am the proud father of Dannie Lynn Hope, the lust child of the late Anna Nicole Smith and I.

One night in mid-Jan. 2006, I was in Salt Lake City for two days of unofficial business (aka skiing) and decided to take in a Utah Jazz NBA game. I scalped one seat (a no-no in SLC with the LDS) and my seat just happened to be next to this attractive, yet somewhat dirty-looking woman and her 58 year old spineless man who she would only allude to as “Prince”. We spoke during foul shots, then during active play, eventually into TV timeouts. At the beginning of the 4th QTR., I excused my to make my way to the concession stands to buy a JAZZ foam finger. When I was waiting on line, Anna Nicole came up from behind and asked me to meet her in Room 232 of the Dew Drop Inn, a little roadside motel just south of some strip mall (she liked strip malls). She said that the “Prince” ran out of his Viagra and that she needed some “play”. She explained that the “Prince” would be flying back to California to reunite with his lovely bride, who turned out to be none other than 1910 sex symbol Za Za Gabor. Therefore, privacy was not a concern.

No need to disparage the mother of my child and provide play by play, but rest assured, the kid is mine. After all, she was born without hair and mine is no longer.

My Favorite Restaurants

With all the business travel that I have done, as well as personal travel, I have eaten in some great establishments. Here are a sampling of a few of my favorites.

1. Zushi Puzzle, San Francisco, CA
Best zushi (err – sushi) in SF. Go for Roger’s unique and tasty rolls. His exotic fishes melt like butter. Try the Armadillo Roll with Toro and Butterfish! Roger has a dedicated following of customers who know quality, but now Zagats has found the Puzzle. Damn!

2. Nanuet Restaurant, Nanuet, NY
I grew up on their special brand of pizza. The consensus is that Nanuet pizza is the best ever!! No embellishment – Nanuet Restaurant is Great!

3. Wo Hop, New York, NY

Chinatown’s finest authentic Chinese food! Tasty, open late, great Wonton Soup!

4. Fornos of Spain, Newark, NJ
The Ironbound is home of the best Spanish food I have ever had. A new tradition when I return home to NY

5. Liverpool Lils, San Francisco, CA
The food is great, just simple and tasty American fare. Very east coast!

6. Thep Phenom, San Francisco, CA
My friend Jane and I call it “Best Thai”.

7. Rick’s Club American, Congers, NY

Best chicken and ribs!!!

8. Bobo’s, San Francisco, CA
Great SF steakhouse in the tradition of old school steak joints. Only four years young, a must for all steak eaters!

9. Alan Wong, Honolulu, HI
Best restaurant on Oahu! The Opakapaka is so so good. Celebrated a memorable birthday there a few years ago. Very special restaurant.

Honorable mentionThang Long, San Francisco, CA; Peppercorn’s, Park Ridge, NJ and New China, Montvale, NJ (home of Nixon’s picture – see above!), Hong Kong Flower Lounge , Millbrae, CA (Dum Sum), Villa Roma, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Have an opinion? Don’t be shy, share it with me! Drop me an email at

A New Career for Stuttzy

Seems that an old friend has a new career going. The Whale, our trusted correspondent and manager of Studio B, reports that our old pal Stuttzy was filmed by an ESPN camera crew fueling up at a north San Diego County Chevron. Cameras show Stutts, wearing shorts and a Hawaiian print shirt, sifting through the garbage in search of a San Diego Chargers’ souvenir cup. He was successful and thoroughly pleased with himself, much to the dismay of his eldest daughter, who rolled up the car window, visibly disgusted to see her Dad stoop to such low grade shenanigans.

Jim can be seen regularly in ads across the ESPN Television Network.

More Katrina – How a Hurricane Shocked a Nation!

After almost 7 weeks since Katrina came upon shore and shook up the Gulf States like a good margarita in a shaker glass, many people cannot comprehend why this type of disaster can happen here in the US. Well, perhaps many of the liberals who still blame GWB for the hurricane are too afraid to admit the reality of what was New Orleans. New Orleans was populated by a large under-educated, under-employed population in a state that is among the poorest in the lower 48. The racism that ran rapid in the south prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prevails today, only in an economic sense. The poverty stricken blacks who constitute 66% of New Orleans population had a day-to day existence similar to those living in third world nations. With approx. 25% unemployment among black men, despair has been commonplace in the region for years. New Orleans had the highest murder rate in the nation and one of the highest crime rates of any large city. As a tourist, I realized this early on during my stay in New Orleans. It was a great two day city if you watched your back. If you didn’t, you invited trouble.

The pictures that we saw on television and the stories we read about the social conditions after Katrina stuck were horrifying, but not shocking. Poverty is an everyday existence for many Americans, ethnicity notwithstanding. Perhaps many of us live in a bubble, but this continues to be a major issue that perpetually goes unaddressed by those with the resources (gov’t, educators and big business) to make the situation better. Entitlement programs are not the answer. Tax dollars targeted towards education is the first step in the right direction.

Katrina woke up this country from an idllyic slumber and showed the nightmare that has existed for some time. Instead of blaming GWB, lets face the issue of economic segregation head-on and find the solution now. No time better than the present.

Have an opinion? Don’t be shy, share it with me! Drop me an email at

The Roar of Hurricane Katrina

I am not going to waste your time telling you about how awful this crisis is in the America’ Gulf region. I’ll let CNN do that for you. What I will speak about is how irresponsible the media has been in their ever-so-fashionable way of bashing FEMA and the Bush Administration.

Frankly, I am tired of reading about how Washington has let down the people of the Gulf States. I have grown weary of the George Bush getting his head bashed into the ground by media types and under-informed pundits who are consistently seeking a reason to bat him around.

Let’s get to the brass tacks of the issue. Hurricane Katrina devastated a region of shoreline that exceeded 120 miles, covering four states (FL,LA,MS,AL). No government or public company is completely ready to handle the magnitude of a disaster this size on a moment’s notice. To suggest that FEMA, President Bush and other interested parties should have been prepared for this catastrophe the minute the hurricane landed is ludicrous, considering the magnitude of the disaster. Hell, the laws that govern this great society clearly state the federal sector cannot intervene without the consent of the state government. Within 36 hours of LA asking for assistance, the government was working to help others in dire need. Could the government done more? Pragmatically speaking, what more could officials have done given the short time frame and damaged resources? It is easy to point fingers, especially at the Bush Administration, but let’s be objective and realistic.

So, instead of finger pointing and joining the ranks of two-bit con artists like Al Sharpton and no-brained rappers who spew nonsense from their lips in front of live national TV audiences, let’s take a minute, bond together and make a positive contribution with the intent of making somebody else’s life a little bit better. Stop bashing GWB; credit him for taking responsibility for his government’s reaction to something so far beyond comprehension just to get the liberal press focused on an issue even more stupid, like Barry Bonds’ comments about Congress and steroids.

Remember, United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Let’s stop falling for goodness sake!

Have an opinion? Don’t be shy, share it with me! Drop me an email at

San Francisco Steep and Deep

Big City, Big Air! After living in SF for 15 years, I thought I had seen some crazy stuff. But last Thursday may have been the topper. The City of San Francisco, along with Olympic Ski Champion Jonny Moseley, staged a one day ski jumping exhibition on the hills of San Francisco. Staged on Fillmore Street in toney Pacific Heights, the two block event drew thousands of curious San Francisco’s who wanted to see 20 skiers and boarders fly through the air. Of course, the weather was a perfect 85 degrees, bright blue skies; arguably the warmest day in SF this year. The event was a rousing success, generating tons of local and national interests. Granted, some of the neighbors complained (after all, it would not be SF if someone did bitch) but that is ok. Watching jumpers launch into the air with apartment building and the Bay as the backdrop was an incredible sight! The event added to the SF reputation for the weird and bizarre. As off-beat as the event was, everybody had a blast. I am a skier, so this was extra special for me!

Ski Areas

Several years ago, my ski partner, Greg Papa, gave me the nickname “Tomba”. And as much as I enjoy chasing women (for another time), I take great pride in my nickname. I am an accomplished skier who loves to strap on the sticks and ski! My brother Michael had a condo in Frisco, CO one winter not so long ago, so my skiing was predominantly done in the Rockies this year. I am a lucky guy. Here are my favorites:

Taos, NM
This area is a skier’s dream. Steep and deep! And blue skies! Fluffy snow! New Mexico is just a beautiful state.

Vail, CO
Great mountain! So much to offer. Never enough ski days at Vail! The Back Bowls are special!

Arapahoe Basin, CO
It has been a while since I skied there, but the area has good vertical, good snow and is very cold. But in the Spring, it is amazing. Some of my best ski days have been at “A-Basin”.

Hunter Mountain, NY
This is where I learned to ski. Do not compare to the west coast hills, that’s not fair. But Hunter is where my grandmother skied challenging terrain for 56 years. Enough said.

Sugar Bowl, CA
Site of my ski accident (sprained ACL, MCL, contusion of the Menicus; that was just the right knee; stretched everything in the left one without tearing anything!) But I go back to where I was bit – the terrain is fun and the snow is arguably the best in Tahoe.

Squaw Valley, CA
Great hill when there is a ton of snow. Very challenging and a ton of fun – just make sure the hill is covered.
Honorable Mention – Copper Mountain, CO; Kirkwood, CA and Snowbird, UT