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 Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.



Howard Metzenbaum was the big name in my father’s generation.  Metzenbaum made millions in parking lots, and eventually became a U.S. senator.  My father and Metzenbaum were born the same year, 1917, in Cleveland.  My dad didn’t know Metzenbaum but enjoyed following his career.

Metzenbaum, in his later years, owned a condo at Three Village, the holy of holies for upscale living in Cleveland.  The building went up in 1978 near Cedar Road at I-271.  The Three Village condo development was wooded and secluded.  My parents lived nearby, at the Mark IV apartments (now called the Hamptons).  I don’t know why my mother went to apartment living from a colonial in South Euclid.  She was a gardener, and then suddenly she was  doing tomatoes in pots on her Mark IV balcony.  My parents liked brand-new housing; they weren’t keen on used.  Everything had to be shiny and new, maybe because they grew up in poverty.

Across from the Mark IV was Acacia on the Green — a step up, rent- and prestige-wise.  Next to Acacia was Sherri Park, a step down.  Across from Sherri Park was Point East, a step up from Acacia but down from Three Village.  These buildings all went up in the 1970s and were popular with my parents’ generation.

three village

My parents never went inside Metzenbaum’s building.  I did.  I visited a friend who bought a condo in Three Village.  Metzenbaum was long gone — dead as of 2008 — and this was 2014.  The building’s buzzer directory read Maltz, Mandel, Ratner, Risman, Weinberger and Wuliger (among others).  Some of the condos were 7,500 square feet.

Maltz, Mandel, Ratner . . . Maybe you have to be an old Cleveland Jew to appreciate that.  If you’re not an old Cleveland Jew, and have read this far, please explain.

Buzz.  Come in.

Alan Douglass (L), Bert Stratton and Tamar Gray

Alan Douglass (L), Bert Stratton and Tamar Gray

The Klezmer Guy Trio performs at Nighttown, 7 p.m. Wed., Feb. 25.  An evening of social commentary, plumbing tips and music. $10. 216-795-0550.   Alan Douglass, piano and vocals.  Tamar Gray, vocals.  Klezmer, soul and standards.  I’ll do prose blurts and play clarinet. 

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1 Bill Jones { 02.11.15 at 10:41 am }

What, nothing about the security there from the “attended gate” to the security cameras in the woods, etc. Wonder whether one can hear drones if you trespass?

2 Ted { 02.11.15 at 11:06 am }

Mad Magazine did a great parody of “Fiddler on the Roof” called “Antenna on the Roof.” It was about Jews living in suburban U.S.A.

3 Irwin Weinberger { 02.11.15 at 11:29 am }

Did you say “Weinberger”? Oh yeah, I forgot, I live next door to a guy named Ratner. Not my type though.

4 marysz { 02.11.15 at 1:04 pm }

I always pass Acacia on my way to the mall on my visits back to Cleveland. If I ever moved back, I would definitely consider living there. Now that I’m old, I qualify. By the standards of the New York City area, where I live, the prices are incredibly reasonable. Unfortunately, there is no real public transportation, so once you give up your car keys it’s all over. Otherwise, the quality of life in that area is excellent.

5 mike madorsky { 02.11.15 at 10:40 pm }

Wow, my Grandma Freda also grew tomatoes on her balcony at the “Hamptons”. Back then still Mark IV. Since she faced Cedar, the sun never made it more than an hour or two a day. Not many tomatoes, but she grew lots of marigolds. She moved in when the building first opened, and it was 100% jewish Grandmothers. Now its a lot more diverse, even families living there, who want their kids to attend the highly touted Beachwood schools.

6 Bert Stratton { 02.12.15 at 8:37 am }

To Mike Madorsky:

My parents’ Mark IV balcony faced south (where The Village eventually went up). Good growing conditions!

7 Ken Goldberg { 02.12.15 at 9:41 pm }

I’d say Three Village was always the holy of holies for Jewish Cleveland, anyway. I never really thought of that hierarchy among the four complexes, but you may have something there. I believe the two north of Cedar have the most land, but the Hamptons has the auxiliary building with Eyewear at the Hamptons (one of Greater Cleveland’s five best opticians, imho), the upscale restaurant and beauty salon, and the pool in the center. On the other hand, the fact that the general public is allowed to patronize the businesses there may bring the complex down a notch or two.

It seems in over 30 years something else should have come along to top Three Village. The Pinnacle and the brand new The 9 are pretty luxurious, by today’s standards. If a highrise residential building is indeed built where the Cleveland Institute of Art is currently, it would probably be very expensive, but I’m anxiously waiting for the luxury highrise (probably to be the tallest of all the residential structures in Greater Cleveland) to go up, and I believe it will. This may well pass Three Village as THE place to reside for apartment/condo living.

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