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 had these editors at Sun Newspapers, Stan and John. This was in the early 1980s. My beat was the city — Collinwood.

I just saw John — the head editor — at a wedding. He told my wife I got in a fistfight with Stan at the paper. Alice, on the way home from the wedding, said to me, “Why didn’t you tell me about that fight? You were hotheaded.”

I never got in a fistfight. Prove it! Maybe a little yelling but I never hit Stan.

Here’s how it went down in ’83:

Stan, marking up my copy, said, “How can you write like this?”

“Listen, schmuck,” I said. “I’m not writing like this. I’m leaving.”

“Don’t get so worked up.”

“You have no tact, Stan. No ability with human relations. My copy is easy to edit. You’re dictatorial. We don’t get paid enough to listen to this.”

“Your copy is the most difficult here,” Stan said. “No, I take that back. Bob’s copy is.”

I never hit Stan. By the way, I’m friends with Stan. The recent wedding — the one mentioned above — was Stan’s younger daughter’s. I talked copy editing at the wedding. I told John how a summer intern at a national publication had recently tried to change a line of mine from “I said” to “I replied.” (For example: “I like ketchup,” he replied. instead of “I like ketchup,” he said.)

“I let it stand, John,” I said. “I had other battles to fight. But then when the story came out, the ‘I replied’ practically ruined it for me.”

“Who says ‘I replied’?” John said.

“Nobody. Exactly. It’s ‘I said.’”

John and I agree on that, at least. Nice. But John still claims I got in a fight with Stan. Lately he has hinted he might downgrade the fight to “maybe it was some pushing.” I’d like a full retraction, John.

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1 Mark Schilling { 09.14.22 at 9:51 am }

As a freelancer I figured out a long time ago that getting loud and argumentative with editors was a one-way ticket to Palookaville. I did it once with the editor of an airline mag who not only butcherd my copy on a cover story, but also added mistakes and made stuff up. He sent me the proof as a fait accompli — no time to make changes since the mag was going to the printers. I told him, in a shouting phone call, to take my name off the piece. He did, but it was the last time I wrote for him. No regrets from me.

2 Kenneth Goldberg { 09.14.22 at 10:18 am }

Probably a lot of macho shoving and then the final knock-out. I’ll take “replied” any day. Don’t you know how to write yet?

3 John M. Urbancich { 03.01.23 at 11:20 am }

I stand by my story (even if I was in the back room for most of it!)

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