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.



My parents often name-dropped Billys, who I usually didn’t recognize.

The Billys were:

1.) Billy Rose.  He  put together the Aquacade show at the Great Lakes Exposition in 1936-7.  The Aquacade was a theater-like pool.  There was an orchestra and synchronized swimming.  Johnny Weissmuller starred in it. Billy Rose took the show to the New York World’s Fair in 1939.


2.) Billy DeWolfe.  A character actor.   Billy De Wolfe occasionally ate at my Great Uncle Itchy’s restaurant, Seiger’s, on Kinsman Road.  Was Billy De Wolfe  really Billy D. Wolf, Billy The Wolf, or what?

3.) Billy Weinberger, a Short Vincent Street restaurateur (Kornman’s) who moved to Las Vegas in 1966 and took over Caesar’s Palace.  My Uncle Al  got discount hotel rates “from Billy” in Vegas.  Billy was close with the Cleveland mobsters who started Vegas.


Did I ever name-drop Billys to my kids?  I don’t think so.  I can’t think of any Billys.  My parents took all the Billys.

I did Garys: Gary Moore, Gary Powers and Gary Lewis.

Bonus:  Whatever Happened to Putt Putt?, an original video:

shareEmail this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter


1 Harvey { 10.19.11 at 9:53 am }

I challenge your friend’s putt-putt course stats, Bert. There are more than 62 on one strip in Myrtle Beach alone – with exotic birds, scary sounds, caves — totally over-the-top crap due to the fierce competition.

They’ve got your Buddha, Moses splitting a water trap, animatronic animists propitiating the 18th Hole rock that eats your ball, and weirder stuff.

OK, maybe the previous sentence was a total fabrication, but you need to go there if you’re so nostalgic.

2 Bert { 10.19.11 at 10:23 am }

To Harvey:

When the man in the video says “Putt-Putt,” he means “Putt-Putt.”

Think “Kleenex,” not “facial tissues.”


3 Kenny G { 10.19.11 at 10:33 am }

I have experience wtih Putt-Putt! We had to have two years of gym in Liberal Arts at Syracuse. My freshman year I took Army ROTC, which stood as a replacement, and my sophomore year I was in the School of Music, which didn’t require it.

Then I went back to Liberal Arts and ended up having to take gym my senior year.

Anyway, the Big Strike came in May 1970, and this young teacher, who acted like he didn’t give a damn about anything, said in order to pass the course we had to do several different things. One I did was bowling — I walked to a Syracuse bowling alley and got someone there to write a note.

Another day I walked a million miles to a Putt-Putt miniature golf course on Erie Blvd., played a round myself and got it signed. That was that.

4 Ted { 10.19.11 at 2:06 pm }

Your blog page is getting a little long; I think you need to archive some entries.

Chris Rantz could tell you the location of any Putt-Putt ™ course in the U.S., and how many you would pass driving between two cities.

I had the chance to visit Pirate’s Cove in Petoskey recently. It was closed for the season, but looks the same.

5 Seth { 10.20.11 at 6:01 pm }

My father’s accountant once said, “Never buy a shopping center with a Putt-Putt.” I never quite understood that, and he never explained it…and we weren’t in the market nor could afford a shopping center.

And a junior accountant in his firm ended up leaving to become a Putt-Putt pro. I think his boss thought he was a putz for that.

Forget about teaching your kids Billys . . . Bialy’s is far more important.

Leave a Comment