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.



I walked on water, across Horseshoe Lake in Shaker Heights, the other day. You’re not supposed to walk on the lake, but around it. I walk on it every 25 years or so. Why not walk on water? What’s the worst that could happen? Drown?  (The lake is only 4-feet deep. I know this because I saw it dredged about 20 years ago.)  A former county engineer described the Shaker Lakes system as a “two-bit duck pond.”

I like a new outlook —  like standing in the middle of a lake. On Sunday evening it was dark and 15 degrees; nearly everybody was inside. I saw about four cars while I was at the lake. I wish I had done a “Script Ohio” in the snow with my name “Bert.” Nick Mileti, the former owner of the Cavs,  said he built the Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio, to “have some fun, make some dough, leave some footprints in the sand.”

Here are my footprints:


Horseshoe Lake, Shaker Heights, Ohio

I’m not onboard for cremation and scattering my ashes, but if I were, I would have my ashes strewn over Horseshoe Lake, which I walk around every couple days. One big drawback: the dredging every 20 years, that’s kind of gross, ashes-wise.

Years ago – about 100 – there was boating on the lake. This now happens about every ten years, when Shaker Heights throws a family day. Horseshoe Lake is three-fourths in Shaker Heights and one-fourth in Cleveland Heights. I started on the Shaker side, in case you’re wondering.

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1 Bill Jones { 01.11.17 at 10:17 am }

I can’t remember any signs warning about falling through the ice, Bert. No doubt you intuited what the local authorities would have to say. Give yourself credit that you weren’t one of the nuts that thinks they’ll walk across Erie to Canada and has to be rescued when they get too far from land and get lost or too tired to continue. This year there won’t be any of that if the weather continues as it has–it won’t but who knows. Happy duck ponding–really Canadian Geese ponding given their numbers.

2 Ken G. { 01.11.17 at 9:25 pm }

Thank heavens you revealed that, Bert. I was really, really wondering! Sure, maybe when you’re 92 you’ll “walk on water” again. Not only did Porter call the Shaker Lakes that phrase (though actually Bob Gaede, such as in our Guide to Cleveland Architecture, did refer to the four as “ponds” (flatteringly, I’m sure), but it’s been revealed that a freeway interchange was go to right by Porter’s own house, on South Woodland in Pepper Pike. Perhaps a coincidence? Hee hee….

3 Michael Madorsky { 01.11.17 at 9:40 pm }

Wow, that’s a coincidence. Today as I drove by Shaker lake, I noticed the ice was starting to melt, but I could see that there were tracks going right across the lake. Bert, you left footprints!! (like the saying goes, leave only footprints).
Yes I’ve also trekked across the lake, with skis and without. Yes, when I was a kid in Shaker there was a canoe club on the Shaker side of the lake, filled with gorgeous wooden canoes owned by the members. The canoe club disbanded, then the building burned down, the only thing left is the concrete ramp and a narrow dock along the lakeshore.
I have kayaked on the lake many times, with my kids when they were little tykes. I don’t know if its legal or not, but I figure I’m grandfathered in, since it USED to be legal. ( not really a grandfather yet).

4 Seth B. Marks { 01.12.17 at 3:14 pm }

Those herringboned footprints will lead the Horseshoe Lake police directly to your door. Think about that…or not.

5 David Rowe { 01.13.17 at 2:50 am }

The west side has Rocky River; host to baptisms.

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