Each step must end and another begin for any path to be traveled.
Otherwise, where we are is our destination.— Hamilton Rousseau
The wonderful Historic Bishop Arts District in Dallas, the home of Ifs Ands & Butts for over nine years, has now blossomed, matured, and built an exciting new life and identity all its own which have elevated it from urban blight into a major destination for locals and visitors alike.
In fact, the total restoration and revitalization of the entire Historic District in but a single decade is nothing short of extraordinary! As the Dallas Morning News said, it is one of "Ten Things Dallas can brag about."
It far exceeds everything I envisioned when, in 1993, I first moved into this storefront and began working with Jim Lake Senior, the man who wisely saved these precious historic buildings from the wrecking ball, and all the District's many diverse artists, merchants, property owners, surrounding neighborhoods and city leaders, to restore this remarkable trolley-era community to its former urban glory. And despite all odds, together we made something great happen.
I also never dreamed so many diverse people from all over the metroplex—indeed, from everywhere in the country—would take my iconic little shop into their hearts and lead a huge media entourage to its door!
So much "buzz" was created by my customers—you—it quickly led to Ifs Ands & Butts receiving an unprecedented non-stop barrage of local, metro, state, national, international and internet publicity and recognition for nine straight years, most recently this summer by the Wall Street Journal and yet another Best of Big D Award from D Magazine.
Appropriately, all the media coverage of the shop grew to include and then focus on the entire Bishop Arts District and its charm as the $3.4 million restoration got underway and more eclectic shops and restaurants began budding forth to critical acclaim. That many media favorably publicizing each and all of us to the city and the world year after year finally made it not only okay, but "in"¯ to cross the Trinity River and venture into what had been Dallas' long forsaken "forbidden zone."¯
As my years of dedicated work to transform the Bishop Arts District into a viable community center for Old Oak Cliff is being carried on by so many others here and around the city, my vision of it's restoration and revitalization has been truly realized.
Thus it is with great sadness I announce that as a result of ill health from Lupus requiring immediate and ongoing medical treatment, I had to close Ifs Ands & Butts and retire from "shopkeeping"¯ to rest, recover and return to my life's ongoing core works—my research and writings on people, society and community, of which the shop and its icons of a bygone era were so much a part, and to which each of you contributed so much in so many ways.
To all my wonderful customers, who kept me and the other pioneers and new-comers in the District open and growing through thick and thin, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the incredible ride. It has been an experience I shall always cherish and utilize. Hamilton Rousseau