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 live two miles from where I was born. Every 60 years or so, I bike back to Kinsman – the area my parents lived pre-1951. St. Luke’s Hospital — where I was born — abuts Kinsman. Kinsman used to be a mix of Italians, Jews and Slovaks.

The first time I left home on my own steam was when I biked to Cermak Drug at East 93rd Street and Union Avenue. This was about 1962. I went with Cermak himself — the son of Cermak, actually. The Cermak family lived across the street from us in South Euclid. John Cermak (around age 12 at the time) and I used red city map books to navigate to the city. What were those books called? Street Atlases. Cermak and I made it to the drugstore and back.

Last fall I biked to a different Kinsman drugstore to get a Covid booster. I couldn’t get it in my neighborhood, so I found a CVS at East 108th Street and Kinsman Road. I mapped out my route. It was like I was going to a foreign land. I biked by Benedictine High and boarded-up Audubon School and Woodland Hills Park, which is now Luke Easter Park. (Easter was a Cleveland Indians player.) The pharmacist at CVS said, “You’re the third person today who said he came from Shaker or the Heights.”

I’ve been through Kinsman many times in a car, but my recent bike thing was the most memorable excursion. I doubt I’ll bike through Kinsman again. I’ll go to Europe.

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1 Ken Goldberg { 05.29.24 at 9:32 am }

I’ve long heard “red books” (or is it “redbooks” and I still have one or two. The heart of “Kinsman” is one of many neighborhoods I don’t care to walk through, though I drive just about anywhere. Always even more than average, afraid of kids in streets, etc. That horrible stretch of Terrace Road in EC, with the long vacant and vicious-looking apt. tower (once considered by some “luxury”), is totally off limits even if street might be open. However, there are now places I feel are now MORE walkable, such as eastern Hough, all of northern Tremont (southern okay too).

2 Speed { 05.30.24 at 9:07 am }

For those interested in a current (September 2022) and interesting view of the East 93rd and Union intersection, Google Maps has one and it’s excellent.

Interesting that The Associated Savings and Loan Co building still stands, recognizable and mostly intact.

3 Moses Steinberg { 06.03.24 at 1:22 pm }

The scary criminal element in that area is usually sleeping during the day, but not always. You’d have to have pay me a lot of money to bicycle through that neighborhood. It’s terrible. I almost cannot believe an educated street smart guy like yourself would take such a completely unnecessary risk like that. Well, at least you can legitimately claim to know what the area is like. Most of the rest of us just speculate from the safety of our own leafy suburban neighborhoods.

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