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.



I went easy on a tenant, rent-wise, because he called the police on a leaded-glass thief, who had stolen windows from the apartment building’s entrance.  (The windows were sidelights.)

Ex. Two sidelights flanking main entrance

The cops asked my tenant, “Would you be a witness?”  My guy — Bill Livingstone — said yes.   I appreciated his civic involvement.

Livingstone was nosy.  That was a good thing.  Livingstone, a poodle groomer, stayed at the building 23 years.



A vandal scrawled graffiti on a front door.  Livingstone wasn’t around. (Different building.)

The building manager knew the graffiti “artist.”  She even knew his phone number.  My custodian personally knows this derelict?  The graffiti “artist” was a friend of a friend of the custodian.  The “artist” hung out at a skaters coffeehouse and had a recognizable tag.  My custodian,  a lesbian brakeman with multiple piercings, knew the scene.

I phoned the graffiti kid.  What if he was nuts?  I hung up.  Let the cops handle it.

The kid called me.  “You just called my cell.”

I hate that.

The cops found him and made him clean up the doors.   His mom even helped.  The kid was in high school.  I didn’t press charges because he cleaned the door.


Re: the leaded-glass sidelights thief.  That guy was caught due to Bill Livingstone’s accurate ID of the man.  (The thief sold the windows to an antiques store.)  The man was charged with aggravated burglary and grand theft.

He didn’t do any jail time.  He made restitution to me over a couple years.

I’ve been fortunate. Thanks to Bill Livingstone, tuned-in building managers and persistent police detectives.

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1 Susan Greene { 10.26.11 at 1:44 pm }

I have been very fortunate as well when I needed the assistance from the police. I have always gotten along with various police departments. They have a tough job.

2 Kenny G { 10.27.11 at 3:46 pm }

This Livingstone probably wasn’t nosy but, instead, an architectural purist.

Anyone who steals an original entrance door from an apt. bldg. should be locked up to rot in heck at least 40 years. There’s no “restitution” for priceless.

I recall when there was a rash of apt. door thefts around the mid-70s, and the wonderful Arts and Crafts door at the former “El Canon” apts. at 2777 Overlook was stolen and not recovered. There was a plain windowless wood door there until recent years, when money was collected to bring back a door with some architectural merit.

Fortunately I got into it, recalled the original door’s style with some detail, and a new door was created which is at least in the spirit of the original:

So – Success!

3 Mark Schilling { 11.01.11 at 5:02 am }

As I have said many times, Elmore Leonard and all his assistants could not dream up this stuff. The lesbian brakeman custodian, the “artist” returning the call of the guy whose property he just vandalized.

Brilliant — and all true!

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