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.



The tenant in 304 was a slob, but still, he liked a spiffy-looking bathroom. My maintenance man said, “He ain’t did the dishes in years. I mean holy shit. And he’s bitching about his bathroom falling apart?” The maintenance man — Jim — repainted the entire bathroom. Jim also moved out a ratty couch and chair. The Salvation Army wouldn’t even take the stuff. It was all stained. I had to pay Jim extra for moving the furniture.

Generic messy suit and former tenant

A store tenant called and said Jim got dust on some of her stuff when he did a job there. “There was dust all over the place, and they didn’t cover my things.” I told the tenant to give me a price. Jim said he did cover her stuff. That was a bad day.

My plumber met me in the parking lot across from St. Ed’s High and showed me his monthly bills. He said, “This is the second highest amount I’ve ever given you.”


I got an email from a tenant saying he wanted a month’s free month because I was digging trenches through his apartment. We were putting in an underground condensate return line. Eighty-gauge black steel pipe. We were doing this because the entire building was sprouting leaks from the 90-year-old underground pipes. So we were digging a five-foot “grave” in the guy’s kitchen, dining room and living room. I told him he’d get the free rent.

The person in apartment 30 called and said he’s getting back with his girlfriend. Oh yeah? He’s out his deposit.

The worst was the letter taped to the storefront door at the Webb Road building: “Burt, it’s landlords like you that give all of us landlords a bad name. You should be ashamed of yourself. Signed, Tom Corrigan.”

Corrigan rented a store from me. He ran his rental property organization from my building. He had had a leak in his roof. We tried to fix it. I spent a few grand on it. Leaks are a tricky business.

It was a bad day.

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1 Brad German { 09.06.23 at 9:41 am }

I play something when I have a bad day to keep the friction down. It usually starts as a nign and ends as a bulgar.

2 Stephen Mumford { 09.07.23 at 11:27 pm }

These essays are basically poems about human frailty, the author’s own frailty in RE matters, his tenants’ hopes, dreams and misdemeanors. Forgive us our trespasses and forgive those who trespass against us.

They are surprisingly entertaining.

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