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.



Two of my friends’ parents died the same week. The first funeral was a massive Catholic Mass, and the second was a small Jewish affair. At both funerals, mourners chit-chatted about wrongful death. The Catholic man had gone into a local satellite hospital for a fairly routine matter, then went to “code blue,” and died. The Jewish woman had a procedure on her trachea and died. They were both in their 80s.

bad gigWhen my father died, he was treated first by a Mt. Sinai Hospital doc, then a Cleveland Clinic doctor. My dad thought he might get better care at the Clinic. Nope.

Marc Jaffe, a comedian, once told me that he wants to interview people regarding the best way to die. Like he will go up to a guy impaled on a picket fence and say, “Hey, is that a good death?” You don’t know till you try it. (The interview and the death.)

People I know — and know of, in a fanboy way — who have died recently:

From my gen . . . Lillian Goldberg, a friend; David Ariel, former head of the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies.

Older gen . . . Philip Roth, Tom Wolfe, Donald Hall.

[I should convert “my gen” to “older gen” right after I post this. The older crowd — the Silent Gen and WWII folk — is tapped out.]

I wrote a tribute to Donald Hall, who died Saturday. He was a mentor to me. “The Freelancer” in City Journal.

Donald Hall (L) and Bert Stratton, New Hampshire, 2000

Donald Hall (L) and Bert Stratton, New Hampshire, 2000


I wrote “Me and my Lawnmower” for Belt Mag. This one is not about anybody dying, but it does touch on the subject.

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1 Ken Goldberg { 06.27.18 at 10:20 am }

I first knew David Ariel when he was David Feuerstein – in my bunk “tsrif” at Camp Ramah in Canada. I later saw him when he was President of our Tzafon USY region and far later had an interview with him at the College of Jewish Studies. His father, Rabbi Milton Feuerstein, had been with Conservative congregations in Buffalo and Syracuse and still later in a small community in Upstate New York.

2 David Korn { 06.27.18 at 10:24 am }

No “good” death. Death is neutral, tho still sad. Life, on the other hand, can be many things, and the best death is the end of a good life. I think Buddha would agree.

3 David Korn { 06.27.18 at 10:26 am }

Oh, Bert. I don’t want to forget. Please bring your clarinet next week (for backyard gig).

4 MARC Adler { 06.27.18 at 2:51 pm }

Regarding your lawn mower article, we used to sell
those scythes. I brought them in for nostalgia sake but people bought them. You should get your blade sharpened at least once a year. How many acres do you have?

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