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.



I interviewed for a position on the library board. I knew two people who had been on the board and liked it. I wondered if the board would ask me what books I was reading. In 1967, at a college interview at Johns Hopkins, I talked about my Holocaust reading. That was a big hit. The Holocaust wasn’t even the “Holocaust” yet. (I was pre-med but didn’t apply to Hopkins. My parents said. “Go to a state school and get all A’s.”)

I recently read David Byrne’s How Music Works and Shit my Dad Says by Justin Halpern. I have also read 100 pages in Bernard Malamud’s A New Life. I’m thinking, “I’m reading Malamud” might be the ticket for the library-board interview.

When I interviewed, the board sat on a dais. I took the “witness stand” in the center of the room. Only three board members — out of the five — were there. One missing board member was a playwright; the other, a guy from my synagogue. My A-team was not there.

Question 1: How would you make the library better for students?

A. You mean those brats who play computer games and horse around in the teen room? I’ve never been in that room.

Question 2. Mr. Stratton, what do you do at the library besides take out books?

Not much! I was at the dedication of the Harvey Pekar statue, though.

Question 3: What would you do to help the library’s finances?

I’d vote for the levies.

Question 4: Are you willing to commit to a seven-year position?

Yes, but actuarially speaking, who knows.

Nobody asked the Malamud question. I didn’t get the offer. A black chemist beat me out. Top that. In a follow-up email, the library director thanked me for applying and encouraged me to apply again.

Maybe. But first I have to walk through the teen room and get a feel for young adults’ needs.

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1 Ralph { 09.29.21 at 10:50 am }

The “actuarially speaking” response is best in class!!
Hope you don’t mind if I use it.

2 Kenneth Goldberg { 09.29.21 at 12:41 pm }

If you apply you can try the “”Elizabeth Warren” – claim some Native American ancestry. Or you could try “Gypsy” or “Hawaiian, “Hebrew” or “Phoenician.” Lillian had an interview once but the vision impairment didn’t bring enough sympathy.

3 marc adler { 09.30.21 at 2:46 pm }

When you told them about making out behind the stacks,
it probably didn’t help your case.

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