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.



Bialy’s Bagels in University Heights, Ohio, was my bagel supplier for years.  I would go swimming; go to Bialy’s; buy 15 bagels; eat two; drive to my mother’s, give her three; and take the rest home.bialys-slender-pic1

I was on a bagel diet; I actually thought eating sesame and poppy seed bagels was a good thing.

My back-up bagel purveyor was Amster’s at Cedar Center.  The counter woman there, Marilyn Weiss, volunteered for school levies, racial integration projects, and did a ton of schlep work at my shul.  Amster’s was all about Marilyn’s personality.  Unfortunately, she died in 2000, and the place closed a few years later.

I also went to Better — as in “Better Bagel” — on Taylor Road.  The owners were New Yorkers who wore kippot (yarmulkes) and Brooklyn Dodgers shirts.   I figured they knew bagels.

They didn’t. Their bagels were too doughy and not crispy enough on the outside.   Better Bagel changed its name to Brooklyn Bagel.  No better.


Go to Bialy’s.  If Bialy’s ever closes, we’re in bagel trouble in Cleveland.

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1 don friedman { 04.20.11 at 2:39 pm }

Bagels? You want bagels? Go to Bruegger’s Bagels….they know bagels…I used to go in there and order an “air bagel.” They looked at me funny….what’s that?

It’s a plain bagel, nothing on it! I buy 12 whole-wheat bagels every two weeks. They give you 13. Good fiber, protein and intelligent ingredients. So Bert, you’re in luck.

2 Bill Jones { 04.20.11 at 3:38 pm }

Interesting you should comment on hametz (leavened goods) at this time of year.

Better a commentary on matzah, differences in brands (taste, as well as money), where to get the best deals, why shmurah matzah has become the BIG thing outside of the religious/nationality community it came from, etc.

Next year at Unger’s!

3 Bill Jones { 04.20.11 at 3:42 pm }

I’m another Bruegger’s Bagels consumer. I do it because there’s a store close by.

I agree that Bialy’s Bagels is better, even if the name does not tell the story of what they sell by far the most of.

And they will replicate, in their own way, other bagel combinations (Einstein’s Black Russian), as long as you order 1 dozen, which is customer service par excellence.

As for nostalgia, Broadway Bagels, to my taste, were the greatest, until they imploded under (?) management or whatever caused them to close shop.

4 E Komito { 04.21.11 at 10:51 am }

That’s cruel and unusual punishment to raise the image of steaming hot bagels during the week of Passover.

By the way, add Davis Bakery across from the Eton Collection to your list of bagels to avoid — too doughy and sweet; more like dinner rolls than bagels. They have a good rye bread and a real nice CBS; but not a good place for bagels.

I like Ralph’s illustration. Back when I was in engineering school, I had an architect’s blueprint of bagel-and-lox right down to the elevation drawing that included a perfect slice of onion. -ehk

5 Bert { 04.21.11 at 1:07 pm }

To Bill Jones:

Matzo sadness . . .

My wife, Alice, bought Yehuda matzos because they were cheapest.

I would have preferred matzos from Horowitz-Margareten LPA. A white-shoe matzo baker. The best.

I had some Streit’s and Manischewitz at a second seder, and they were both good too. Not too burned at the edges, you know.

Further pain: Alice bought a box of Manny’s whole wheat matzos. Like eating Cheerio’s — the box, that is.

6 Teddy { 04.21.11 at 1:10 pm }

The proper name [for Bialy’s] is, I believe, University Heights Bagel & Bialy (LLC, Inc.?)

7 MARC { 04.21.11 at 3:04 pm }

Did someone mention shmura matzah? Having Chabad friends, you are always well-supplied with these round handmade matzahs.

After a number of years, you can appreciate the best from the good. This year’s edition was much lighter, which is appreciated when you are forced to eat a large quantity in a few minutes in order to fulfill the mitzvah.

This would make a great TV reality show….who can eat the most shmura matzah in a given time period.

By the time you are done with the shmura matzah, and other preliminary food items, there is not much room for the festive meal.

8 Kenny G { 04.21.11 at 4:25 pm }

Look, Bert, once when I was asked to lift the Torah at a service at Beth El in Rochester I nearly dropped it; it was lopsided, etc.

The elderly Torah reader, Rabbi Solomon, mumbled something like, “You should eat your Wheaties.”

Maybe it’s because it’s Passover, but I don’t think you had your Wheaties yesterday. At the prices you charge to participate in this blog, some of us demand more text than you gave us here. Cheesh!

9 Kenny G { 04.21.11 at 8:53 pm }

When I came [to Cleveland] in ’73, there were two real bagel places in town — Amster’s and Bialy’s & Bagels (or whatever it is called).

Bialy’s tasted better and cost more, but Amster’s was famous for locally introducing bagels that came with cheese (“non-kosher”).

Not sure Marilyn [Weiss] stayed to end. I thought of her as the ultimate workhorse volunteer who resembled Lily Tomlin without “glamour.” Kind of under-appreciated, such as when she arranged for Hts. Thanksgiving service at Beth Am.

Don’t forget Bagel Nosh, turned Deli Nosh (and, eventually, so-called Russian Tea Room).

The bagel chains began in the outside-NYC hinterlands, around the middle ’70s, when Rochester got them before Cleveland. I had my first chocolate-chip bagel in Toledo around ’75; place in no-man’s land.

Einstein’s: most expensive of chains.

Got my first goyishe bagel in German Village in Columbus in 2/74. They don’t have to be Jewish!….Had a half-Jewish friend who did nothing Jewish except went in for only “traditional bagel flavors.”

A bagel place had the chutzpah to open in Old Arcade [Cleveland] during Passover.

Once there was a big thing in CJN about Unger’s “new, larger” bagels. I went there immediately, and the yenta behind counter knew nothing. She asked someone, who said something to the effect: “We got a new bagel-making machine — maybe a speck larger, bigger — no big deal.”

About 20 yrs. ago, I got a bagel at the dive on the basement level of that shopping strip off Main St. in Kent — over a dollar!….

10 Bert { 04.22.11 at 8:00 am }

To Kenny G:

Thanks for bulking up this particular post’s word count.

You demand more text. I don’t deliver it. So you supply more text yourself!

I appreciate that!

11 Teddy { 04.26.11 at 1:41 am }

I knew things had come full circle when my Business Associations teacher, Prof. John A. Barrett, Jr., asked our class whether he should bring in “goyishe” bagels for our last class or not. (Goyishe bagels: anything with blueberries, chocolate chips, or “whole grains.”)

12 Kenny G { 04.27.11 at 10:25 am }

Next time you feel like contributing only an itsy-bitsy amount of text, Bert, please let me know in advance and I’ll start firing up my PC for a heavy-duty workload.

13 Steven Greenman { 04.27.11 at 2:50 pm }

There’s a wonderful Orthodox-run bagel/breakfast place [Bagel Shoppe] on Warrensville Center Rd. in South Euclid. The bagels are big and doughy and crisp on the outside.

Fairly close to the New York ones I like, but not as good as Absolute Bagels on 2788 Broadway, between 107th St & 108th St.

At the South Euclid place, I’ve gotten to know the man from Uruguay behind the counter.

14 Kenny G { 04.27.11 at 8:41 pm }

…. the aftermath of Empire Chicken.

15 Kippot { 05.11.11 at 2:29 am }

What about some diet bagels? I think after all the meals of Pesach for a whole week, it should be a sin to talk about food!

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