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.



A Yiddishe Cup fan said she lived in the house I had grown up in.  I asked her if the basement was still wood veneer paneling.

Yes, she said.

My teenage sister had lobbied for that basement veneer.  It made for better make-out parties. Basements were where the action was.  It was where you got all kinds of work done.

How do people in sunny climates get any work done?

My friend and neighbor John Cermak lived in his basement his entire adult life.  He installed a pool table, gun rack and shower.

tricicleWhen I became a landlord, I often called John for advice on boilers, blown fuses and backhoes.   When he was about 8 years old, he mounted a lawnmower engine on a tricycle.  He was my guru of the physical world.  John was also good at academics; he was interested in everything from English literature to Saab car engines.  He graduated St. Ignatius High and John Carroll University.

John died at 41 from complications of mental illness and alcoholism. He could put away a case of Wiedemann’s in a single weekend.  Or was it in a single day?

I still often think of calling John.  For instance, the electric company called and said, “The voltage at the cap is good.”  It was?  If the voltage was good, why didn’t we have any power in four suites?  The electric guy said, “The inside line, outside, is yours.”

John, you there?

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