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 Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.



A modern apartment is easy to paint. You just roll the drywall.

Prewar apartments, however, can take two days or more.  You need to cut-in at the baseboards and at the mullions, and sometimes it’s smart to use two shades of white to contrast the woodwork and the walls.

eskimo-white-croppedSteve — a West Side apartment painter — has more words for white than Jews have for fool. Steve talks about antique white, Navajo white, pearl white, bone white and pure white (a.k.a. hospital white). [Fool in Yiddish: nar, shlemiel, shmendrik, shmegege, yold.]

The big question at Lakewood Paint and Wallpaper was “Oil or latex?”  Another pertinent question was:  “Is Dutch Standard the same as Dutch Boy?”  No, Dutch Standard is from Canton, Ohio.  Dutch Boy is the nationally known subsidiary from Sherwin-Williams, Cleveland.

going-dutch-colorBill, a paint salesman, made regular calls at Lakewood Paint.  He said, “I would stick with an alkyd [oil].  You kids will try anything.”  He looked at me.  “Let me ask you something.  Are you a Yehudi?  That’s a word only one of us would know.  What’re you doing here?”  (On the West Side.)

“I work for my old man.”  (I was 26.)

“Four years of fun and game at college,” Bill said. “Now look!”  He studied my painter’s clothes.  “There are only two Yehudis at Dutch Standard.  Me and another guy.”

. . . Yehudi Ha-Rishon (The First Jew).  That was a Hebrew school primer about Abraham.

Yehudi Ha-Shayni (The Second Jew).  That was Bill, who wandered the Northeast Ohio paint-store circuit in the 1970s.

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1 comment

1 Bill Jones { 12.22.10 at 11:34 am }

Count me in as Yehudi Ha Sleeshe (third). I worked for Sherwin-Williams.

Re: Steve Hoffman’s salary [“Waving O’ the Green”]. As you pointed out, it is the board and not Steve that is to blame. Complaining to the board is the way to go. They are sensitive to these matters.

As for the gonifs who belong to the Jewish community or identify with it, yet don’t support it, let me point out that while Steve may get 2 cents, there are a heck of a lot of kids, old folks, and others in need, both here in the Cleveland area as well as in Israel that get the other 98 cents. So they should man up and shtup.

Many of us are madder than heck that Obama’s recent deal included giving tens of thousands of dollars and more to millionaires through tax breaks. However, we held our noses and urged its passage, remembering that failure to do so meant a very, very bad time for the chronically unemployed. among other folks. that are having a very rough time of it.

Folks who have qualms about contributing to the Federation have to know that it overwhelming goes to very deserving people and we need to work to see that more of it goes there.

As for the Salvation Army. Meshugge to give to them before giving to the Food Bank here in Cleveland. None of the Food Bank’s money goes to Christian missionary activities, to name but one item in the Army’s budget.

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