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.


 
 

PORN AND LIT

Lakewood International News carried the Paris Review, Partisan Review, Kenyon Review and Bustin’ Out. About half the store was porn. The proprietor, Gil, was a part-time railroader. He manned the elevated counter, which was a lookout tower for nailing shoplifters and pervs. I went there.

When Gil lost his lease, I told him about a store I had for rent. A Plain Dealer reporter called me about all this. How’d he hear about it? Who knows. Possible PD headline: “Stratton, New Porn Czar.” The old Cleveland porn czar was Reuben Sturman. I got scared. I hand-delivered a media package to the Plain Dealer reporter. I did a Q&A with myself. I wrote: “I believe in the First Amendment and the bookstore would be an asset. It isn’t just porn. Ever heard of the Paris Review? I’ll rent to the magazine store.”

The deal didn’t happen. Lakewood News moved to a different location, about a mile south, then folded. I rented my vacant store to a bank, and I figured the bank would stay for 20 years. That’s what their lease said. But the bank bailed in a couple years. Banks were merging and consolidating like crazy in the 1980s.

I miss the bank. I miss the porn-and-lit store, too.


On Monday I had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. “The Rent Collector’s Dilemma.”

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6 comments

1 Mark Schilling { 05.06.20 at 9:08 am }

When I lived in Ellwood City PA in the 1960s there was a newsstand like that: Legit paperbacks mixed with skin mags and dirty books. The skin mags were on the highest rows of the rack, which meant attracting the attention of hard-eyed owner if you reached for one. I stuck with John Updike, Norman Mailer and Ian Fleming.

2 Kenneth Goldberg { 05.06.20 at 11:24 am }

What’s the connection between your tenants in Lakewood and Bank Street News that was on Clark Avenue near Fulton Road? I thought that was the business that had wanted to be in your Lakewood building but there was too much opposition.

3 John M. Hardin { 05.06.20 at 12:01 pm }

Bert,
As a commercial real estate practitioner working with a company that has a lot of retail tenants, I really enjoyed your article in the WSJ. I sent it out to our team. Strange times, but.. “it could be worse”.
Thanks,

John

4 Bert Stratton { 05.06.20 at 5:46 pm }

To Kenneth Goldberg:

I think Lakewood News changed its name to Bank St. News when it moved out of Lakewood.

5 Dave Rowe { 05.06.20 at 8:03 pm }

Wonder if they carried the HARD CORE stuff ,stuff like the Lakewood Sun Post.

6 Saul Gritz { 09.30.20 at 3:01 pm }

Read your comments in the Journal, and want to say that when Donnie Rump sent me, a retired old kvetch $1,200, I thought it would have been more effective to order rent on homes and businesses frozen for both renters and landlords to redirect rent payment to groceries and stuff without harming landlords who owe banks, the Mafia, and the Irgun. It would have been a much better action, even if it may not be constitutional or something.
All I did with the money was send it to the B of A to pay off a card; not the thing to do with the pandemic or need.
Tawk to me.

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