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.



Ms. Gibson skipped. I phoned her because she left her apartment purple, black and yellow. She didn’t want to talk about that. She wanted to talk about why I hadn’t changed the toilet seat when she moved in, and why hadn’t I fixed the ceiling in her hallway, and why did the building manager tell her she could paint the walls purple, black and yellow if she couldn’t.

Ms. Gibson was never late on her rent. She was there two years. But she skipped and used weird paint colors. “Didn’t you get my final month’s rent?” she said. “I sent it with a note saying I was moving.”

I didn’t receive the check. It was the twentieth of the month. I went dumpster-diving in my wastebasket for the check. Maybe I misplaced it. I had a 30-gallon wastebasket. I wondered how many more times I would go dumpster-diving for liars. Ms. Gibson had seven months left on her lease. I threatened to take her to court.

She said, “Go ahead, I’m broke.”

“It’ll be on your public record,” I said. “If you try to buy a car or a house, the public record will be on your credit report. At least pay this month’s rent. You said you mailed it. I didn’t get it. Mail it again. Do the right thing.”

She said she would send a half month’s rent. (Better than nothing.)

“Make sure you send it. You know, you painted the kitchen cabinets black.”

“And those cabinets look better than when I moved in!”

The half month’s rent didn’t show up. I left Ms. Gibson a voice mail: “Pay the half month’s rent. Give it to the Pony Express, or the mailman, or hand-deliver it to me. If you don’t, I’m going to sue you. I don’t care if you are broke.”

I never did get the half month’s rent. The new tenant — post-Gibson — liked the black cabinets. He also liked Ms. Gibson’s yellow paint job in the kitchen. Ms. Gibson knew her colors. She saved me some money on re-painting. Ms. Gibson had some pluses.

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