Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz, too.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.



On our thirtieth wedding anniversary trip, my wife, Alice, and I were in a small town, Creel, Chihuahua, northern Mexico, along  with a lot of federal cops.  Some of them were crowded around a store window that had bullet holes in it.  This was déjà vu for me; I used to rent to the U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting Center, which always had its share of bullet holes, plus red food coloring, red Jell-O and toy baby doll arms piled in the doorway.  I never billed the government for cleaning up.

The Mexican federales wore all black.  Some had masks, so the drug cartel boys wouldn’t recognize them.  Other than that, Creel was like Put-in-Bay, Ohio: a resort town with tchatche shops everywhere. And there was a coffeehouse, featuring an open mic night, in the Best Western.

I often pack a harmonica when I camp— and  we had just spent a few days in the Copper Canyon mountains — so I did a blues harmonica ditty at the open mic.  An American, Diddle, backed me on guitar.

After this cross-cultural interlude, my wife and I walked past the store with the bullet holes again.  We heard a “rat-a-tat-tat.”  No, a “pa-pa-pa-pa-pa.”  We ducked and ran like Groucho Marxes. We wound up on the floor in a nearby hotel lobby, where a clerk jabbered about how she had never been so frightened in her whole life.

Me too.

And I had just paid thousands of dollars to get shot at.  At least in Israel it would have made some sense — solidarity with my people and all that.

How was your trip, Bert?

Nice except for getting shot at.

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1 Teddy { 06.12.09 at 11:11 pm }

Creel is in Chihuahua, not Michoacan. Michoacan has good ice cream. But no canyons.

2 bert { 06.13.09 at 7:13 am }

Thanks for the correction, Teddy. Done. “Michoacan” has been replaced by “Chihuahua” in the text.

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