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.



My basement — where Yiddishe Cup rehearses — smelled like a skunk.

The skunk was under the stoop by my front door, next to the basement.

I could hardly breathe in the basement.  How was I supposed to play clarinet?


Skunks are bad people.  The city won’t deal with them.  So I hired a private company, Critter Control.

The Critter Control  “technician” liked my collection of Jewish-star necklaces — Purim bling — in my basement.  He said he was Jewish. (I run into Jewish handymen more often than most people, I think.)  He said, “I don’t know much about the ritual and all that, but my mother was Jewish.”

“If you say you’re Jewish, that’s good enough for me,” I said.  And get rid of the skunk, please. He set a trap under the stoop.

And he sold me a can of Odor Assassin for $15.  Just three squirts of the spray got rid of the skunk smell in the basement.

When the Yiddishe Cup musicians came over for rehearsal that night, the basement smelled tangy and lemon-lime fresh, courtesy of the Odor Assassin.

But the skunk decided to spray, counterattacking during rehearsal. I thought Yiddishe Cup would disband.  I said, “Let me get out my Odor Assassin.  It’ll only take five years off our lives, at most.”

The guys agreed to the chemical battle.

Odor Assassin saved Yiddishe Cup’s rehearsal.  (No small thing. Some Yiddishe Cup musicians drive up to 35 minutes to rehearsal.)

Yiddishe Cup rarely endorses products.  To date: Golden Herring and all sardines.  Add Odor Assassin.


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1 Irwin { 03.30.11 at 10:14 am }

I thought the blog would end by you presenting the exterminator with the Mogen David bling. May not have really happened but would have made a satisfying ending.

2 Bill Jones { 03.30.11 at 2:28 pm }

My, how the J Carroll Jewish hour has changed, Bert. It has been more the Lakewood, NJ sound for some years. No female voices on the show, to be sure.

Now that I think of it, I impugn Lakewood, NJ. The new music the local Jewish station plays sounds unusually professional for male vocal groups, with cool names to boot.

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