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.



deli for mlachak story deli on every corner1. Norman Mlachak was a Cleveland Press reporter.  I didn’t know him but knew of him.  He grew up over a deli at E. 140th Street and Aspinwall Avenue.  Every old-timer in Cleveland grew up over a deli, or near one. Nobody had a car, so there were a lot of delis.  You bought food almost daily.  Mlachak sometimes wrote nostalgic pieces for The Press. His neighborhood was Collinwood.  He wrote about Fisher Body, Eaton Axle, Kuhlman Car Co. and the Collinwood Railroad Yards.  He died in 1984.

2. I went to high school with Helene Mlotek, who is probably related to Zalmen Mlotek, the New York klezmer macher.  Aren’t all Jewish Mloteks related?  Helene and I weren’t in any of the same classes.

3. Mary Lou Hribar grew up in and around Fritz’s Tavern, a polka hangout on E. 185th Street.  Her father, Fritz, was inducted into the Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame, under the category “proprietors.”   I once met Mary Lou at a Shaker Heights party and haven’t seen her since.  Fritz died in 2001.

4. I was at Claudia Hlebcar’s wedding . . .

OK, enough. Thank you for your patience.

— Bert Ptacek

Irregular Passover Humor:

shareEmail this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter


1 Bill Jones { 04.01.15 at 9:53 am }

Nu, Bert. While Slavic languages can be challenging due to their lack of vowels or run on consonants, try Hebrew, you transliterationist promoter.

2 marc { 04.01.15 at 1:38 pm }

You are such a name dropper! Have a great Pesach. May your movements be regular.

3 Ken Goldberg { 04.01.15 at 4:28 pm }

Thanks for the info, Bert. I’ve been wondering about those people so I appreciate the update. It was very relevant, too!

4 Ken Goldberg { 04.02.15 at 8:54 am }

And a happy Peter Rzepka Passover to you!
(That’s my last.)

5 Dave Rowe { 04.06.15 at 3:39 pm }

When I — having grown up on the West Side — think of delis, I think of one on Lakewood’s Madison Avenue known as Twins’. What was special about the place was that it sold beer to us sixteen and seventeen-year-olds. It was “Sunday Beer” (3.2 percent alcohol), but at that young age it did the trick.

Don’t know if they still brew the stuff; do know that it lead to the hard stuff (7 percent) later on.

Leave a Comment