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.



One fun thing to do in Latin America is buy prescription drugs off the shelf at the local drugstore. Last month I forgot my prescription pills and was in Guatemala. I emailed the Cleveland Clinic. They said it was OK for me to skip my Lipitor, but the Clinic thought I should stick with my blood-pressure medicine. But that drug (trade name Bystolic) is expensive and hard to find, even in the U.S.

I went to a farmacia, and bingo, they had it. Not called Bystolic. The Latin version is from Argentina, but the same drug. And they had a Lipitor-clone from India. Then I looked for some aloe vera because I had a sun burn. No go. I found aloe vera somewhere else. Finally, I bought some pepto-abysmal.

Just yank the Rx drugs off the shelves. My first time was in El Salvador in 1973, when my asthma inhaler ran dry, and I walked into a pharmacy and got a canister. I used that canister for the next twenty years. I have faith in expired meds.

I also bought some baby aspirin in Guatemala. The standard down there is 100mg instead of 81mg.

I wouldn’t mind running a farmacia in Latin America. Maybe next time around.

My present inventory:
1) 5 mg nebivolol, trade name Nabila. Same as American Bystolic. Made in Argentina.
2) 40 mg atorvastatin, trade name Atorgras. Same as Lipitor. Indian-made.

Want more Guatemala? Check out my article “My Guatemalan Vacation” in City Journal.

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1 Mark Schilling { 05.19.21 at 9:34 am }

When I was in Bangalore on a festival jury a couple years ago a fellow juror, a guy from Turkey, needed prescription meds. We ended up at a big hospital that had stopped seeing patients for the day, but the pharmacy was still open. My colleague told the pharmacist his problem and walked out with the meds. They worked perfectly fine. In India everything is for sale, or so it seems.

2 Seth B. Marks { 05.19.21 at 11:20 am }

Forgot your prescription meds? With all those medical needs, are you sure its safe for you to travel?

3 Kenneth Goldberg { 05.19.21 at 11:58 am }

One of three “little problems” I had connected with my Toronto excursion in 2019 was neglecting to take some of my meds. I got some OTC substitutes in Toronto but went cheap and avoided paying a lot for some items which came in too-large quantities. Thank goodness nothing I take now is so crucial for a few days. I noticed this morning the three small cartons of blackberries I got at the West Side Market Monday hail all the way from Guatemala. Cheeesh!

4 marc adler { 05.26.21 at 3:20 pm }

I’ve been to Gautemala a number of times because I have family there. My cousin was Vice President of Gautemala and another cousin mayor of Gautemala City.

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