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 called Cody’s mother because he hadn’t paid his rent. Cody’s mom said, “I expected you to tell me he was dead. He’s been impossible since he was 15. I have two children. One is stellar and the other is Cody.” Cody was 27.

I knocked on Cody’s door but he wouldn’t answer. I filed on him in court. He eventually texted me, “You’re going to have to go thru eviction process while I work things out.”

I went to his apartment again. I said through the door, “I hear you’re still here. Your mother thought I was calling her to tell her you’re dead. Get it together, man.” He had no furniture and slept on the floor, surrounded by a bong and cigarette butts. I told him to call community services, which was passing out free rent money. His rental application said he was a painter with his uncle’s firm.

I had rented to Cody because, for one reason, his mom had accompanied him when he had come by to see the apartment. She and Cody put down the final month in advance.

Finally, the court evicted Cody. He was supposed to vacate within 10 days after the eviction hearing. I showed up at his door at 9 am on day 11. The chain lock was on. If you have the chain lock on, and you’re inside, I got a problem.

Later that day the chain was off. There was stuff in the apartment. I called his mom. I wondered where he had gone. It was freezing out. She said, “He may look like a druggie but he isn’t. He’s mentally ill.”

Cody’s uncle — the painting contractor — said, “I’m not sure if he’s ill or just lazy. He’s smart. He got in a couple scuffles with my guys but he was OK. I was going to help him buy a truck. He got a few paychecks to get the apartment, and then he quit. He’s not staying at my house tonight. So he messed you up with the lock — the coming and going — at the apartment? That might be breaking and entering. Maybe he’ll get a warm bed in a jail tonight.”

We stored six bags of garbage from Cody’s place for a while. That’s the state law. I asked my maintenance guy, “What about kitchen table?”

He said, “I basically stomped that and put it on the tree lawn. It’s smashed.”


“Cody” is a pseudonym. Drawing by Ralph Solonitz.



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1 comment

1 sam { 12.14.23 at 12:29 am }

The quotable Cody’s mom.

Your essay on your Gaza friend, Baraa, was very moving.
All those beautiful young women.
Broken flowers.

The Notes on Maimondes was good. “Schnorrer” is a terrific word.
Isn’t there a song, “Who’s Schnorrer Now?”

This is intriguing: ‘The Talmud points out that “anyone who averts his eyes from the obligation to give charity, it is as if he engages in idol worship.” ‘
The Secret Sharer comes to mind for some reason.
Justice, charity, status. Interesting.

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