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.



Think ethnic

Yiddishe Cup was nominated for the “best ethnic/world band.”  We were practically the only non-Afro/ non-reggae/ non-Caribbean/ non-Zydeco band in the contest.

With one email blast to our fan base, Yiddishe Cup would have won the Cleveland Music Award.

Sorry. Not our scene, Scene.   (Cleveland Scene magazine sponsored the contest.)  We did not want to email blast our Yiddishe Cup fans. We didn’t want to disturb world Jewry.

I think the judges — Scene editors — designed the ballot so we would win.  Their theory:  Young voters would spread their votes among the Afro bands, and Yiddishe Cup would pick up the rock-solid Jewish block.

Do you think the other bands held back on email blasts?  No! They sent out hundreds of emails: “Vote for us!” . . . “Make us number one!” . . . “We’re number one!”


The winner was Mifune, an Afrobeat hip-hop band.   Mifune — you can’t even pronounce that.  At least you can pronounce Yiddishe Cup (if you’re Jewish).

The most-recent music awards contest was in 2010.  Nothing since.*

Scene, please reboot. Yiddishe Cup wants to be number one.  We’re ready to rock and e-blast now.   Free Cleveland coconut bars to everybody who votes for Yiddishe Cup!

*News flash: Scene just held another music awards contest (September 2013).  There was no “ethnic/world” category.  Foul ball!

The photo at top is Daniel Ducoff (L) and Alan Douglass of Yiddishe Cup.  Their hats are Mongolian.



I was the landlord in a panel discussion, sponsored by the Cleveland Tenants Organization and the Center for Families and Children

I wore a sports coat and polo shirt.  I looked good.

One problem: there was no audience, to speak of (to). Only two people.  One had an apartment full of centipedes.  She had put her money in escrow for several months, and the landlord hadn’t gotten rid of the centipedes.  She said, “I don’t mind a bug or two, but I don’t like them crawling on my ceiling, and me, when I’m sleeping.”

She also said there were grain moths when she moved in. She said the city inspector came out and said, “Where do you shop?” Which she considered a veiled racial remark.  “Like he thought I shopped in the ghetto.  I shop where everybody else shops!”

The woman’s landlord should have gotten rid of the centipedes. I would have liked to have heard from the landlord.

The other person at the presentation had been booted out of her apartment. Her common-law husband had kicked her out.  She had two kids and lived on $400/month.

Mr. Polo Shirt – me — had nothing to say.  Come move in with me?  Nope.

Lead paint. That’s boring. The meeting ended on that note.

Centipede eats lead and dies

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1 Ken G. { 09.11.13 at 9:57 am }

Which designer polo shirt? If you were wearing the wrong designer (or, worse yet, NO designer), that could have been the problem in not attracting more, or whom you attracted.

2 Ben Cohen { 09.11.13 at 10:49 am }

Darn. I thought that the best ethnic / world music band was called “Centipede Landlord.” Pretty good band name.

3 Bert Stratton { 09.11.13 at 11:34 am }

To Ben Cohen:

Good idea: the Centipede Landlord band.

To Ken G.

I wore a no-name polo shirt. That was the problem.

4 David Korn { 09.11.13 at 11:39 am }

About that Cleveland Scene contest, you can count on my support, vote-wise and otherwise, but since you offered I’d really like a Cleveland coconut bar. Non-Clevelander me, I’m not sure I know what it is — Something on the candy rack at Corky’s?

5 Bert Stratton { 09.11.13 at 12:55 pm }

To David Korn:

Here’s a story I wrote on Cleveland coconut bars.

Definitely at Corky’s. But also everywhere else in Cleveland. Davis Bakery was the coconut bar king for years.

6 Kay { 10.09.13 at 11:57 am }

You would be happy to know that everyone in Australia knows what a coconut bar is . They call them Lemmingtons . And I am sure that Corkey never got there

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