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.




Go to a restaurant — in this case, Corky & Lenny’s in Cleveland. And listen to a klezmer history lecture while eating.

It’s only $45.

We will celebrate the Cleveland klezmer sound.  Legend has it, this sound came together at I-271 and Chagrin Boulevard, to become one of the most combustible klezmer sounds the world has ever seen.  alices-restaurantsAlice Stratton (née Shustick), author of Alice’s Restaurants (1981), will share her recipes and Cleveland food discoveries. This could be an amazing Cleveland klezmer meal.

March 10.   The Supper-charged Klezmer Dinner

Don Hermann’s Pickles from Garrettsville, Ohio.
Gefilte fish pâté
Falafel balls from the Falafel Queen, Alice Stratton

Challah from the Park Synagogue preschool

Precision matzo ball soup.  Cleveland Punch & Die Co.

Smokin’ salmon.  Pot Sauce Williams

Alice’s farfel (egg barley) and mushrooms

Star of David lollipops from the Chocolate Emporium

Mr. Meltzer’s line of Seltzer Boy! products

–Make reservations now for this fictional March 10 event–


Future Klezmer Dinner Project events:

4/16    Klezmer Goy

Alan Douglass — an original member of both the Kleveland Klezmorim and Yiddishe Cup — talks about his life as Klezmer Goy.  He’ll recite the bruchas (blessings) over both the wine and cheese to show he knows some Hebrew (like Italians on the Lower East Side used to know a bisl Yiddish).

The meal: rugelach, mandelbroit, hamentashen, honey cake and Cinnebuns.

5/3  Fear in Loadin’

Irwin Weinberger, Mr. Jewish Music Ohio, talks about eating at gigs.  He shows how a pro musician loads a plate. eating-utensils Trick number one: Put lettuce on top of everything, so the host thinks you’re eating only salad.

The meal: tschav (cream of sorrel soup), creamed herring on shmura (handmade) matzo, turkey pot pie, and a wedding cake made from real butter, real vanilla extract and real waiter’s eggs.

6/13  Die Kleveland

Greg Selker, founder of the Kleveland Klezmorim, speaks about the early days of the group.  He’ll show 1985 videos from Booksellers, Pavilion Mall, Beachwood, Ohio.

Flyer, circa 1985, designed by Alan Douglass

Flyer, circa 1985, designed by Alan Douglass

Booksellers was probably the first suburban mall bookstore in America with a café.

The meal: pickled herring with mustard sauce; Jewish fried chicken; butter beans and gelato.

7/17  Pies

Jack Stratton, 2008.  (Photo by Shay Spaniola)

Jack Stratton, 2008. (Photo by Shay Spaniola)

Jack Stratton, Yiddishe Cup’s alternate drummer, demonstrates the Jewish rhythm method.  Think “in the pocket.” In the groove.  Be down with the knish, the Jewish pie. Wear one on shabbes.  Also, be down with the empanada pie (Latin music).  And appreciate the pasty, the miner’s pie from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  It’s all music.

The meal: cold borscht, tsimmes (fruit stew), Mr. Brisket soaked in Coke, albondigas (Sephardic meatballs) and butter kuchen.

8/15  The Happy Bagel

Daniel Ducoff, a.k.a. Sir Dancelot, talks about happy times — how to make money from dancing at bar mitzvah parties and weddings.  Ducoff shows us the Happy Bagel, his latest dance.  And we eat bagels. happy-bagel Not hole-less, soulless bagels. We’ll munch authentic Chew-ish bagels (crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside) with holes big enough to stick shabbes candles in and light.

The meal: Tractor-size bagels from Russia; chicken liver with gribens (cracklings); and fruit tarts.

9/16  The Crazy Mom

The late Barbara Shlensky, party planner, talks about the “Crazy Mom” phenomenon.  How much Valium is too much for Mom’s cocktail?  What if Mom jumps on the bandstand and screams, “Stop right now!  The floor is collapsing!” valium What about Mom’s 45-minute cocktail hour that runs two hours, and the now-drunk guests are accidentally breaking wine glasses and dripping blood onto the white vinyl dance floor?  Finally, has there ever been a $100,000 bar mitzvah party in Cleveland?  Whose?  Barbara answers that.

The meal: Thai kreplach; cauliflower kugel; stuffed cabbage with cranberry sauce; and pistachio macaroons.

See the next post, too, please.  More food references . . .

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1 Kenny G { 03.02.11 at 10:05 am }

Boy, these illustrations are sure adding to NOACA’s printing costs!

2 Steven Greenman { 03.02.11 at 2:10 pm }

“Pot sauce Williams”? That’s a riot!

3 Ben Cohen { 03.02.11 at 2:18 pm }

Growing up in Wheeling WV in the 1970s, my family regularly drove to Pittsburgh (only an hour away) for bagels and smoked salmon. Airport run? Swing by Squirrel Hill, and don’t forget to slice the bagels before putting them in the freezer.

We always brought back a few jars of Don Hermann’s pickles. Love the label logo “Cloudy Brine Assures Fresh Packed.” Where can you get them now? The Don Hermann website doesn’t say.

4 Bert { 03.02.11 at 4:21 pm }

To Ben Cohen:

I think you can get Don Hermann’s pickles at just about any grocery or deli in Cleveland. Fly in and pick some up.


To Steven Greenman:

The “Pot Sauce Williams” thing is for real. Hot Sauce Williams is putting together a marijuana-infused BBQ sauce for the Colorado market, according to this Plain Dealer story:

5 Steve { 03.02.11 at 4:27 pm }

L’Chayim (I’m sure you’ll have some drink in there somewhere!)

6 Bert { 03.02.11 at 5:39 pm }

The “Steve” (above) is not the same as “Steven Greenman.” Not that anybody is making a big deal about this.

There are so many Steves in baby-boom world. When a Steve calls and says, “This is Steve,” I momentarily freeze and wonder, which Steve?

7 Kenny G { 03.03.11 at 8:19 am }

Reservation for two, the first two dates, please. But only if Alice does all the cooking. And it must be at Jack’s, not Corky’s. More kosher stuff in their take-out section.

And please eliminate all those meat/dairy mixed mish-mash dishes.


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