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 New York editor wrote, “You should write a book.  After reading your wonderful essay in the New York Times this morning, I’ve spent the last couple of hours reading everything you’ve written that I could find online. You root your essays in your personal experience, but they have a universal appeal.”

The editor concluded, “A humorous book about real estate would have tremendous commercial appeal.”

Yes!  But what if I worked a year on the book, got a paltry advance, and only four people read the book?  Besides, I’ve already published a book. I published a novel in the 1970s about sex and college.  It was small press (my press). I gave a copy to Allen Ginsberg. You can find it on Google.  A Cold Night in Ann Arbor.

I’m fried from writing books that go nowhere.  I wrote unpublished books before that New York editor was born.  I wrote Check My Balance (about my mental health and the family business), and Riding on Mayfield (about my youth) and Kicked in the Groin (about my hernia operation).  None of them got published, and I had great agents too.

One time — when  I was in Latin America — my dad acted as my literary secretary.  He wrote to my literary agent, “We’re very proud of Bert and are very pleased you are representing him.”

I’m glad my dad was “very proud” of me.  I still think about that.

But I’m done.  I just wrote the New York editor back: “I’m not going to write the real estate book.”  If anybody wants to read about real estate, they can always click here for 92 Klezmer Guy posts about real estate.

The above is Philip Roth–style fiction.  Yes, my dad was my “literary secretary,” and the bit about the unpublished novels is based on fact, but I never received any email from a New York editor.  If I had, I would have written back, “Yes, I’ll do it.  Can I pay you?”

File this under fake profiles.



Every year I pause to thank the major commenters to this blog. I could do Klezmer Guy without comments, but it wouldn’t be as interesting.

In no particular order, thanks to kibitzers Marc, Ken G, Jessica Schreiber, Gerald Ross, Ted, Bill Jones, Mark Schilling, Ellen, Seth . . .

David Korn, Dave R, Irwin Weinberger, Alice, Don Friedman, Lea Grossman Hapner, Ari Davidow, Pierce G, Charlie B, Jeff Moss, Nancy Kane, Jack, Gerry Kanter, Michael Wex, Faruk Ahmed and Steven Greenman.

See your name here next year by writing in.

An extra gracias to
Ken G and Mark Schilling. They crank out comments in bulk — always insightful, inciting and/or stupid.

Lastly, thanks to bloggie illustrator Ralph Solonitz, the best and cleverest drawer around. Here’s an old post about Ralph and his motorcycle.

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1 Ken G. { 05.21.14 at 9:57 am }

Merci beaucoups, partially….

2 Bill Jones { 05.21.14 at 10:09 am }

Thanks for the mention, Bert. When do I show up on the list of people who make uninvited requests to Yiddishe Cup at community events?

3 Mark Schilling { 05.21.14 at 10:45 am }

Stupid? I assume you’re talking about the other guy. CU on GOBA!

4 Ken G. { 05.21.14 at 11:46 am }

I was trying to avoid saying it, but now I’m forced to clarify it must be Schilling.

5 marc { 05.21.14 at 3:57 pm }

You are welcome, and thank you for the weekly laughs and
razor sharp wit.

6 Ken G. { 05.21.14 at 7:28 pm }

I looked foward all year to being named in such a public milieu as this esteemed and respected blog, so – gee- thanks a lot….

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