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.



Charlie Chaplin brings me to tears.  Louis Armstrong and Beethoven do too.  T.S. Eliot — yes, I know he didn’t like Jews — but you can’t deny his greatness For instance, “Humankind can not bear too much reality.”

Yes, reality blows — as we used to say in junior high. (We said the “blows” part.)


I escape to the arts.  I escape to this:

Fire escapes have to be painted every year in Cleveland, or they rust.

I used to be shallower, vainer, younger and facetious.  Now I’m all that, and older.

I’m thinking of getting elevator shoes. A couple inches might change my life.

I don’t like ferrets.

Go ahead, indict me.

Indict me on this too: Anglomania, Jewmania and prickliness.

Downton Abbey — the TV show — is terrific.  Everybody is so taciturn and proper.  Nobody runs his or her mouth.

Who’s a Jew?  That’s my second obsession.  I annually debate whether Brubeck was a Jew.  He wasn’t.   Or was Chaplin Jewish?  No,  he wasn’t.

Prickliness, that’s a universal trait.  I cut off a man’s position in the check-out line at Dave’s supermarket. The man said,  “What you doin’?”

“I’m ahead of you.”

“No, you ain’t. You moved!”

I had moved for a second!  I had left my cart in one line and walked to another line to see which was shorter.

I said “you win” to the man, and let him in front. He got out of the store before me!

I’m looking for elevator shoes.

I cry a lot.


This one is real.  The above post is half real.


It’s easy to fire a drunken building manager, or a thieving one, but it’s hard to fire a manager who is only lousy.

For instance, he doesn’t answer the phone quickly enough, or he doesn’t clean enough.

I thought about firing Sabina; I had hired her husband, not her, and her husband had skipped out on her. She was shoveling snow, cutting grass, and climbing ladders. It wasn’t her strong suit; she had majored in Russian lit at a Russian university.

My tenants reported negative things about her.

That helped — me.

I asked a tenant how the manager was performing, and he said, “I hate her.”

“Do you hate me too?” I said, trying to establish a baseline on his “hate.”

He didn’t hate me. “She doesn’t clean, she has her kids cutting the grass, and she doesn’t tell us anything — when anything is going to get fixed.”

I fired her.

Then I rehired her. She couldn’t get welfare because she had no green card. I let her stay.

Avon calling

She found a boyfriend – a guy in Avon Lake – and moved out.

I owe that guy in Avon Lake.

“Sabina” is a pseudonym.

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1 Seth { 01.02.13 at 4:01 pm }

“…trying to establish a baseline on his ‘hate’.” That’s one of your best lines, Bert. Did you realize that then or only upon recollection? And, if that was the baseline, then what was your melody?

2 Bert Stratton { 01.02.13 at 5:34 pm }

To Seth:

Re: “Hate” baseline.

At first, the tenant only “hated” my custodian.

A little later, he “hated” me too. He blamed me for a loose spike in a concrete parking bumper, which supposedly damaged his Audi. Untrue! I took a a hit on that, nevertheless.

3 Garry Kanter { 01.05.13 at 8:19 pm }

I love “Hate”. Without it, why get up in the morning?

For a while, I espoused the “Two Pillars Of Life: Anger and Cholesterol”.

I’m trying to cut out the cholesterol from my diet. Leaving only the anger.

I can live with that.

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