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. So maybe he’s really Klezmer Landlord.

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.




Yiddishe Cup’s dance leader, Daniel Ducoff, flies frequently for his day job as  university fundraiser.  He knows which security lines are fastest. Even if he’s flying Continental, he’ll often switch to the quicker Southwest line at Cleveland airport.

Man against the machine . . .

My Uncle Al griped about tour bus drivers in Israel who turned the air conditioning too high.

My parents had travel stories about drunken Russians on cruise ships. And I heard about haggling for a gold wine bottle in Italy. I saw the slides.

I threw out the slides.  I have one left:  my parents at The Wall in Jerusalem.  My dad had on Jack Purcells.  He was always in a hurry.

Julia and Toby Stratton, 1971

Julia and Toby Stratton, 1971

My dad kept a list of his purchases abroad. Here it is, abbreviated:

Rosewood carving of temple dog. Bangkok
Ceramic bells. Israel
Porcelain-in-pewter bowl. Hong Kong
Brass circular dish. Morocco
Wool flokati rug. Athens

My parents didn’t buy all that much.  No jewelry and not much clothes.  My dad left me plenty, but very little clothing. I’m not complaining.  I got  buildings.



Daniel Ducoff — Yiddishe Cup’s Sir Dance-a-lot — collects refrigerator magnets of states Yiddishe Cup has played.  Sometimes I give Daniel magnet investment advice.  For instance, 10 years ago I told him to buy “Kentucky.”

It was getting on my nerves — not playing Kentucky.  Kentucky is ridiculously, abuttingly close, to Ohio.

The conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra has played in 10 foreign countries and 29 states.  Who’s counting.

Next month Yiddishe Cup plays Connecticut — a state which isn’t even on our screen.  Is Connecticut a legitimate state?  Does it have a state bird? Connecticut seems more a township or shire than a state.

Yiddishe Cup has played Ohio, Indiana, New York, Texas, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Florida, Canada and, shortly, Connecticut.

Connecticut but no Kentucky.  Why?

Yiddishe Cup plays in Lakeville, Conn., on 10/10/10 for a wedding. Klezmer bandleaders from the Northeast will not be happy to read this.

Or maybe they won’t care.  Maybe they’ll all be in Kentucky that day.



The Greensboro Furniture Mart
is happening.

No beds except at the seedy hotel
across from the Executive Club
which in Cleveland is a catering hall
but in NC is a strip joint

Are we in Amsterdam?

Continental breakfast
The Corn Flakes in the Styrofoam bowl
need milk
for weight
Too late
Where’s the broom?

Musicians with instruments
at the Delta counter
“Our gig was colder than an MF,” their drummer says
“You played outside?” our singer says
The Neville Brothers’ drummer
Even the big boys freeze their pupiks.  


1 of 2 posts for 9/29/10.  Please see the post below too.

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1 Bill Jones { 09.29.10 at 10:34 am }

Regarding Kentucky, contact Rabbi Melinda Mersack here in Cleveland. She’s from Lexington and can no doubt put you in touch with the right folks in both Lexington and Louisville, which I presume are virtually the only Jewish communities in KY of any size, excepting suburban Cinti.

Perhaps the Cinti Jewish community’s newspaper would be worth advertising in. Just wait until you try driving to KY’s main cities, and you’ll quickly find out that Chicago might be a more lucrative place to advertise, as well as get to.

True, if Republican Southeast Ohio secedes from the state then KY would be closer. It should happen in our day!

2 Teddy { 09.29.10 at 11:27 am }

I assume Toby kept prices of all those items too? I remember those ceramic bells. We still have the statue of the “Foo Dog.”

3 Bert { 09.29.10 at 12:56 pm }

To Teddy:

No, Toby didn’t keep prices on the items. The original list is 21 items, from a Venetian wine bottle to an ivory carving from Hong Kong.

4 Ellen { 10.01.10 at 8:04 pm }

I’ve heard the sign says: “Welcome to Kentucky, where Bacon is a Condiment.” I’m going to just miss you in Connecticut. Will be there the following weekend. When you’re there, I’ll be in California, dancing to a recording of YCKB. We’ll have to plan better.

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