Lights! Camera! Action!

Ever get one of those compliments? I’ve heard them called “back-handed compliments” – which I suppose is drawn from those back-handed slaps that are intended as an insult.

“You’re looking pretty good for an old man.”

That sort of thing.


It started well, and was directed at the store instead of at me. The lady came in the door with her eyes wide and wearing a look of confusion mixed with curiosity. She said her sixteen-year-old daughter and friends had urged her to stop by.

“It’s like something from a movie,” the lady explained. “They said it was like – from some other place. People sitting at tables eating. Books on shelves. Pictures and music. They said it was a place you’d see in a movie.”

The sort of thing a business person likes to hear, but then the lady added, “In a movie from my era.”



I’m glad they thought the bookstore was interesting enough to tell someone about it, and it is flattering to hear someone describe it as being like a place “in a movie.” In fact, it isn’t the first time I’ve been told that. Until this occasion though, nobody really went on about it quite so profusely.

Once I jokingly apologized to a young woman standing with her mother at the counter. “I hope you can pardon my old-fashioned music,” I said.

“Oh, I like it,” she replied. “It reminds me of Christmas.”

That was in July. I presume that she had only heard vocalists like Tony Bennett and Perry Como singing Christmas carols. That’s when those singers usually come back into vogue, however briefly. I’ll admit that some “old-timey” stuff comes up every so often. I have eclectic tastes in music as well as books.


As for the movie-set feel, I don’t really know what film that would have been. The only one that comes to mind immediately is You’ve Got Mail, which is a film about a small bookstore. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. There are some tables on the set, but the restaurant scene was shot at a different location.

Then there was the bookstore in Notting Hill, that Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant film. Some tables around in that one, too. But I’m not sure about eating or having a pint. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen that one.

We’ve changed up just a bit. There’s a bigger table up front now, to accommodate everyone a little more comfortably when there are more than three or four in the party. Click on the image for a better look. (Or better yet, just drop in!)

At any rate, even though the teenagers had the movie set in the mother’s era, I enjoy having the store compared to a movie set. The time-frame isn’t important. Maybe there was a book somewhere in Rick’s Café Casablanca. I’ll take it as a compliment.

So long as the movie in mind isn’t the book-burning story – Fahrenheit 451.

We’ll save a director’s chair at the table for you, so…

Come visit!


Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow OK!

It’s your Lucky Date!

If you use the abbreviated form of the date in your checkbook, today is 12-13-14. That brings up a couple of questions: Do people use checkbooks these days? Will there be such things when this date arrangement comes around again?

It won’t matter much to me at that future point.

When it last lined up, the Washington Post was reporting the activities surrounding the war in Europe, a conflict the US had not yet joined. Goldenberg’s Department Store advertised “Overcoats for the Little Fellows,” for $2.49 – a price that today might cover only the buttons.


Who knows what the world will be like when December 13, 2114 rolls around?

Today’s number arrangement is considered lucky by some. Others couldn’t care a bit. As I am more of a reader than a numbers person, the date arrangement caught my attention simply as an oddity.

It was the National Geographic number that really had me in wonder. In an article about garbage floating around in the ocean, the headline states:

5 Trillion Pieces of Ocean Trash Found, But Fewer Particles Than Expected
National Geographic-Dec 11, 2014

Actually, the number is stated in the article as 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing 269,000 tons. My question is: Who counted the pieces of trash? And furthermore, how do they know how much it weighs?

How do they know how many people were lining the street for those big parades? Is there an official “Crowd Counter?” or are they just wild guesses? Like – maybe it is only 4.25 trillion pieces of trash in the ocean, give or take. Seems to me it would be energy better spent identifying whose trash it is, and send them out to pick it up.

On American Roadshow the other evening, the appraiser was looking over an oversized book with hand-tinted illustrations, and he asked how the man had come to own it. His father had found it, he answered. The man was a New England fisherman and found a box floating in the water. When he opened the crate, the book was inside, a little damp but otherwise none the worse for wear.

Value? Thousands of dollars.

One man’s trash, another man’s treasure.

There are some treasures among the stacks here (although none retrieved from ocean-floating crates!), so…

Come visit!


Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow, OK!

The Rising Rose

Somebody’s going to love living here. Plenty of folks enjoy mowing the lawn and raking the leaves and racing the car for miles down Elm to get to a restaurant. Others will think they have it as good as it gets living in a loft apartment in the Rose District.

And – they are beginning to look like apartments.


For the longest time, I had a hard time imagining the Rose District appearance changing much, even after the Ross Group’s announcement of the District@222 project, which will feature Andolini’s as the anchor tenant. When I was heading back to open the shop after Saturday morning’s parade ended, it was almost a shock to see the construction progress.

By gosh, it is almost a skyscraper.

Except for the grain elevator near the railroad tracks, the District@222 (couldn’t they have picked a shorter name, though?) building will be the tallest structure in the downtown area.

I’m guessing.


Could be the new bank building’s spire will be taller, I can’t say for sure. At any rate, the appearance of Broken Arrow’s downtown will be decidedly taller in a very short time.

Those who find themselves as loft-living Rose District residents will be able to come home from work and kick back in the living room or walk a couple of doors down to some of the finest dining around. One of the perks of working in the area is stepping outside and sniffing the great-smelling aromas. Depending on where you are standing at the moment, you might catch a scent of Mexican cuisine from Fiesta Mambo or grilled steaks from BruHouse Grill.

And who wouldn’t love to step out of the living room into the middle of delicious-ness?

I was asked Saturday, “Where is a good place to eat in the Rose District?” That is a tough question to answer, since they are all good places to eat. It depends on your mood and preference, although you can find something for every taste at any spot. I finally just listed everyone on the block and explained their offerings.

People are still surprised. “There’s an In the Raw in Broken Arrow?,” she asked, with a surprised look. Middle of the next block, I told her.

For now, there a few more options at lunch time, since Back Creek Deli and our own McHuston’s Irish Bistro service are currently limited to mid-day. For our part, we have our plans and are working toward that end.

As for the plans regarding the opening of Andolini’s and the loft apartments, I can’t say – but it looks to me like some serious progress is being made.

If you haven’t visited the Rose lately (or even if you have!)…

Come visit!


Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow OK!