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.



Drug Mart is a dollar store/drugstore on Cleveland’s West Side. I buy shampoo and cough drops there.  Also, shoehorns, Gorilla tape and off-brand Cheerios (formerly Tasteeos, now Toasted Oats).

Drug Mart sells the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, but I never see anybody buy the papers except for an elderly man in a suit and tie. 


What is this guy doing on the West Side?

I stood in back of him in line, and had time to kill.   I said, “I wouldn’t normally bring this up — like if we were on the East Side [where the Yidn live] — but you look like my uncle.  You have to be a landsman.” [Paisan]

He smiled and said, “I’m Charlie Lichtman. And what are you doing here?”

“I own property here.”


“Buildings, like the old Armed Forces Recruiters building.”  Which was two blocks away.

Charlie said, “I live in the new Armed Forces building.” The fancy condos — with recruiting offices underneath — across the street from my building.

“You aren’t from around here?” I said.

“I’m from New York,” he said, handing me a card: Charles M. Lichtman Jr., attorney at law, Cleveland and
New York.

“I had an article in the New York Times yesterday,” I said. I was just waiting for somebody — anybody — to say “New York,” or “times” or “new.”

“I read the article,” Charlie said.

I Googled Charlie when I got home. He had graduated from Harvard University and Harvard Law School, and so had his father (Harvard ’14, Harvard Law ’16).   His father had been the president of the Harvard Menorah Society (a precursor to Hillel) in 1915.

Charlie was apparently old German Jewish money (“Our Crowd” division, NYC). And he was at the Drug Mart on the West Side of Cleveland.


An attractive woman stood next to him.  “That’s why I’m here,” Charlie said, pointing to her.

“Charles M. Lichtman Jr.” is a pseudonym.

Enjoy the “Klezmer Guy” blog, with w/ beer, food
and music . . .

Tues. June 14
7:30 p.m.

Spoken word, klezmer, rock, pop, Tin Pan Alley and alley.

Bert Stratton, clarinet, spoken word
Alan Douglass, piano, vocals
Jack Stratton, drums, beat-box

Lots of new material in this show.  Your name might pop up in the script.

12387 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts.

Yiddishe Cup — the whole band — is at Parade The Circle,  Cleveland, 11 a.m. Sat., June 11.  We’re playing a pre-parade concert.

We’ll also be at Temple Israel (Akron, Ohio)  that night (June 11), 8 p.m., for a concert.  330-762-8617.

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1 Kenny G { 06.01.11 at 10:23 am }

I, too, pride myself on being able to identify members of the tribe, though it is getting more iffy every year (for obvious reasons, unfortunately).

The other day I called a car salesman in Bedford, and after I gave him my last name, he gave me his, and said something like “I’m a member of the tribe, too,” but I no longer assume that — again, with same reason; more non-Jewish Goldbergs, Cohens, etc. every year.

Used to go to the Drug Mart on Larchmere Boulevard (previously Woodland Avenue), which wasn’t as large as the Lakewood store (I notice you don’t identify the location….) and sort of cheapo with a tinge of class.

Had a Davis Bakery for a while, too.

The Fri. evening when I was told I had to buy my Mayflower condo or accept a month-to-month lease, I went immediately to the Shaker Square apt. district, north of the square, to look around (seemed quite sophisticated), and they were just about to close the Drug Mart at Kemper and Larchmere before moving west.

Wanted an apt. around Shaker Square as soon as I saw it — maybe a week after moving to Cleveland.

2 Dan Morgenstern { 06.01.11 at 5:05 pm }

I see der light with Mr. Lichtman Junior!

Work your old neighbor [me] into your Nighttown shtick who wishes he smoked fish or pickles with you when he lived in Cleveburg!

Best Regards.

Does Kenny G give you kickbacks for commenting?

3 Bert { 06.01.11 at 5:34 pm }

To Dan Morgenstern:

Kenny G knows more about Cleveland than just about anybody.

Kenny G’s words are bankable.

He didn’t grow up in Cleveland. He has a keen outsider’s perspective on Cleveland and the Midwest. Priceless.

4 Kenny G { 06.02.11 at 8:12 am }

Well thanks, Sonny!

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