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.



I could get the Ohio klezmer vanity plate.

In Chicago, a musician from the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band has the Illinois klezmer.  I saw the Illinois plate on the cover of a Maxwell Street CD.

klezmer is taken in New York.  I saw New York klezmer in the KlezKamp parking lot.

Ohio klezmer is available, according to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Do I want klezmer?  What if I cut somebody off; they’ll know it’s me.  (I remember getting cut off by ezras.)

What if I’m checking out a potential tenant, and  I’m parked by the guy’s sleazy mini-market on West 25th Street, and he comes out and has an anti-klezmer ’tude.

I remember mazel on Fairmount Boulevard.

I’ve seen yenta.

I’ve seen gevalt.

On Ohio’s newest license plate, you practically need a microscope to find the OHIO. Why does the state devalue Ohio so much?  Ohio is pretty catchy compared to other states.   How would you like to live in Maryland?


That’s my gift to the BMV.

Ohio first cluttered its plates in 1973 with Seat Belts Fastened?  That innocent public service opened the doors to Birthplace of Aviation, Bicentennial 2003 and Beautiful Ohio.

OHIO in big block letters would work.  If the BMV ever goes retro, back to  block OHIO, 1950s-style, I would seriously consider klezmer.

I want a plate I can nail to the side of the barn and be proud of.

Footnote: Jewish license plates in California are well-documented, per this video:

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1 marc { 09.14.11 at 8:54 am }

The RI license plate “Adler’s” was taken by one of our competitors years ago. There was another Adler’s Hardware in Providence.

Get this. They both were owned by a different Irving Adler.

The one in South Providence (the ghetto) was ransacked during the race riots of the 60’s and was never rebuilt. After that, my father hired Irving Adler to work at his store. So we had two Irving Adlers working here.

His son later inherited the vanity plate and transferred it to us when he left the state.

2 Bill Jones { 09.14.11 at 9:49 am }


Thanks for the dissertation on “vanity” plates. Go for it, and get Klezmer.

However, it is incumbent upon you to then spell out on a license-plate holder what it means. Easy and inexpensive to do with vinyl letters. I can show you how.

For a number of years, I substituted “Jones” in vinyl letters for the county name. Only got stopped once by a sourpuss state trooper who tried to intimidate me into taking it off. I did not.

Nothing in the state law says license plates require the display of the county name. Only that you must pay for the county name, of course.

“Stratton” would make a much more covert county name than “Jones.”

Segueing into the video. Interesting, that of the dealer license-plate holders, Toyota and Japanese cars in general showed up more than most. That must mean California, of course. Either that, or we should be encouraging Toyota to put corporate ads in the Cleveland Jewish News. B’shalom.

3 Bill Wallace { 09.14.11 at 10:05 am }

Maryland is the home of The Wire, the “Star-Spangled Banner,” crab cakes, and Spiro T. Agnew. Do not mess with Maryland.

4 Jessica Schreiber { 09.14.11 at 10:47 am }

I caution against a Klezmer license plate. You don’t know who the crazy driver is out there who might take a notion to rear-end your car, or worse, due to latent anti-Semitism. This could be triggered by feeling “dissed” by some vehicular maneuver on your part that unleashes road rage. Just saying…

5 anon { 09.14.11 at 11:59 am }

What about other klezmer-related plates, like KLZMRFTS?

6 Bert { 09.14.11 at 12:19 pm }

To anon:

KLZMRFTS . . . that could go at least two ways.

The clean reading would be “Klezmer Fats,” which is, by the way, what pianist Pete Sokolow of Brooklyn calls himself. Sokolow does clever Jewish interpretations of Fats Waller.

Hey, maybe you’re Sokolow.

Use your real name!

7 Seth Marks { 09.14.11 at 5:19 pm }

When I became a grandfather, my daughter made up a t-shirt that said “Saaba” cause I had driven a Saab for 30 years…I was thinking of putting it on a license plate, but backed away, first, because I’m bored by all the grandparent license bragging, second, I always think vanity plates bring unwanted attention in these days when some anonymity when driving is prudent….and finally, after Saab became GM-ified, I got a Honda. No more pun available.

I always liked the simplicity of my father’s lifelong S 21 M.

8 jeff { 09.15.11 at 12:25 pm }

Stop by Cedar Center Hardware and check out all of the owner’s awesome license plates!

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