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.



This was a witch store. Now it’s an insurance agency.

Before the witch, Fred Smith operated Smith’s Deli here, in the 1950s,1960s and 1970s.  Students from St. Ed’s High, across the street, would come in and rip off Fred for candy and pops.

I ran into one St. Ed’s alum — a 55-year-old man — who thought I was God because I had known Fred on an adult level.

Fred got tired of the kids and retired.  He needed more than Snickers sales to pay the rent.  One Snickers sold, one Snickers lost to shrinkage/shoplifting. No gain.

After Fred left, 1977, the store went through many owners. The most famous post-Fred tenant was Angela Hicks, who founded Angie’s List.

There was also a flower shop, a tax service, sports cards shop and the witch store, Ancient Ways.  The witch kept cats in the basement. She reimbursed me for the destroyed carpet when she left, but not for the five months remaining on her lease.

The insurance agency has been here five years.  Five years is a decent run.  That’s the proof the store was not hexed by the witch.

But the insurance guy is moving.  He just called [12/31/13].  “I’m vacuuming and going to be out by 1 p.m.,” he said.





A list of  tenants at 13431 Detroit Avenue, 1977-on:

Fred’s deli, moved out, 1977.

Streeter Sporting Goods, 1978-80.

Antique store, various owners for another 10 years or so.

Ka-La’s Flower Shop, 1983.  (“KaLa” for Kathy and Laura.) Then various other flower shops.

Embossed stuff.  Embroidery Ink, 1991.

Kayln Tax Service, 1993

For You Productions.  More the embossed stuff, 1993.

Grand Slam Collectibles, 1994.

Vacant 1995-1997.

Resale shops, a couple years.

Angie’s List, 1999.

Ancient Ways, New Age, 2001-2004.

Vacant 3 ¾ years.  2004-2008.

Farmer’s Insurance. 2008-13.

2014 — ?

A version of this post is also a video (originally posted  1/21/11).

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1 Ken G. { 01.01.14 at 10:45 am }

A Snickers bar is worth its weight in gold. The newfangled version, too. You might have used the witch to your advantage, like the “good witch” in the “Wizard of Oz.” Perhaps you can rent now to a kosher bakery or meat market. They could use one out there, I’m sure. It doesn’t even have to emphasize the kashruth to those not in the know….

2 Ken G. { 01.01.14 at 10:49 am }

I can’t keep up with a lot of things in the Rochester area (though with the web I can keep up with an awful lot, including looking up the appearance of every street and almost every house). However, I’m been realizing the past few years there’s virtually no business I can think of around Rochester which I used to go to before my college years which is still there in the same location. Even from the college years not too many.

3 Ken G. { 01.01.14 at 6:46 pm }

Uh, oh. Was the brick painted?

4 Bert Stratton { 01.01.14 at 8:23 pm }

To Ken G.:

The brick has not been painted. It’s yellow brick. Never cleaned either. Just a brighter photo — the second photo. Taken after a hydrogen bomb went off.

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