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.



A bride asked Yiddishe Cup to play quietly at her wedding. I said, “Great! I’m in two Facebook groups: ‘I Hate Cilantro’ and ‘I Hate Loud Music.’”

I attended a wedding — as a guest — where the band blasted like they were at Noriega’s palace.  Then a DJ — at an adjoining party, behind a folding wall  — blasted like he was landing cargo planes.

There were about 225 guests at the wedding I was at, and I was the only one bugged?


My wife thought the band was terrific.  She said,  “They are like a magnet, pulling me to the dance floor.”  (My wife, in turn, pulled me to the dance floor.)

The band had no keyboard player or bass player. The lead singer cued backing tracks on his laptop.  The drummer faked it.  And they were very loud!

I  should have texted the president of the “I Hate Loud Music” Facebook group to report the band.  (I think my former rabbi, Michael Hecht, is the honorary president of the group.)

Every time Yiddishe Cup played at Congregation Beth Am, Rabbi Hecht would ask us to turn it down. Yiddishe Cup’s keyboard player –- who was also our sound guy — would shake his head and mutter under his breath, “I can’t turn it down any more.  The sound system is completely off!”

Somewhat scary old guy: Rabbi Hecht. Rabbi Hecht’s understudy: me.


Get outside!


In the 1970s, Newman-Adler Sporting Goods rented out cross-country skis from a shack in Forest Hill Park, Cleveland Heights.

It snowed like crazy in the 1970s.

Then it didn’t snow much in the 1980s. Everybody owned X-C skis by then — with several kinds of wax — but no snow. Newman-Adler stopped renting skis at Forest Hill. In fact the store went out of business.

With X-C, the snow has to be just right — not too slushy. If the snow isn’t perfect, you don’t glide right. If there is a dog or human footprint in the track, that messes things up too. Then there are ice patches.

That said, X-C skiing is a must-do at least once a winter.

Is it time?

Uh . . .

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1 Ken Goldberg { 01.29.14 at 1:04 pm }

Thanks for using the correct, current name for Forest Hill Park. Even some who live around there don’t seem to know it.

2 Bert Stratton { 01.29.14 at 1:34 pm }

To Ken Goldberg:

You taught me everything I know about exact, proper names for Cleveland landmarks.

Who can forget your Kinsman Road (correct) vs. Kinsman Avenue (wrong) tutorial? [Which happened in the comments section of this blog several years ago.]

My longest-standing beef is the Cleveland Jewish News uses “The Ohio State University” instead of simply “Ohio State University.” Pretentious.

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