breaking bad

Saying Goodbye to Minneapolis with Brunch at Nicollet Island Inn


Nicollet Island Inn

Elizabeth Weintraub, Adam Weintraub, Margaret Burgard and Laura Burgard at Nicollet Island Inn

When one wakes up late in the morning, still on California time, with only a few hours left to spend in Minneapolis before flying home to Sacramento, she has a few choices to make. One includes lunch. The other is trying to see her brother — the guy who stopped communicating shortly after their mother died in 2002 and, for reasons known only to him has, ever since he stopped drinking in 1974, always kept his distance, but is now dying from 4th-stage lung cancer. Don’t feel sorry for me, this type of family dysfunctional behavior is not entirely uncommon.

Before we landed in Minneapolis two days earlier, I had asked my sister to try to set up a time that we could get together with my brother, but that didn’t happen. Believe it or not, I did not have my brother’s phone number in my cell. I also could not find it online until I searched under his wife’s name and finally called him myself on Sunday. We talked for a half hour. Some childhood recollections came up, between treatment and outlook. About the permanent lead dot in my left arm –where he stabbed me with a pencil because I blurted out he received a prize he didn’t deserve, which I had expected to win, as my self esteem was higher. He worked into the conversation his new dental bridge, which replaced a crown covering the tooth he had broken off in my forehead.

The conversation was like we had just spoken yesterday.

He would not be joining us for brunch. We would not be visiting him. He is hopeful about his chemotherapy. My sister says we all know how Breaking Bad ends.

grain belt beer hennepin bridge

Icon of Grain Belt Beer on Hennepin Bridge

After that, a woman from Alameda called who is planning to move to the riverfront in Sacramento and wanted to talk about options. I referred her to my team member; we checked out of the hotel and hailed a cab to the Nicollet Island Inn.

Life goes on.

Many people do not know that there is an island in the Mississippi near downtown Minneapolis. Even people like me who are native to the area. They just drive over Hennepin from Northeast heading downtown and cross the river, little stretch of land and cross the river again, oblivious. If you stop, there you will discover the Nicollet Island Inn, a quaint and charming restored restaurant, bar and hotel, originally a door company in the late 1800s.

nicollet island inn reception

Reception area at the Nicollet Island Inn, Minneapolis

The brunch at Nicollet Island Inn is fairly reasonable, $20 for 3-course brunch and $29 for 5-course. In my opinion, there is no better brunch in Minneapolis. The food is excellent, the view is unbeatable, nestled on the riverbank with a view of two bridges. It’s near a place by Saint Anthony Falls where my sister, brother and I used to go, a place where kids would throw firecrackers into the water to blow up the fish. We had discovered in the 1960s a tree log lying on the ground at a spot nicknamed Lost Park and the three of us dragged it home to make a cat tree for our Siamese.

My niece, Laura, joined us for brunch. I tried to tell her she would do well in real estate as she seems a bit directionless at the moment, having just finished her 2-year AA. She has this notion, though, that one needs to conform and “sell out” to do well in real estate, and well, let’s just say her aunt is a solid example that the idea of sacrificing your identity is a falsehood. I am a top producer in Sacramento real estate. You don’t have to compromise who you are to succeed in real estate.

Real estate does teach one, though, how to cope with life’s disappointments.

Dental Implants and the Tug O’ War of Samsung vs iPhone

Pretty Young Girl Child Pulling Loose Tooth with PliersThere is hardly a person alive on the planet today who hasn’t at one time or another thought about teeth. Well, there was that guy in the 1930s, living in isolation on Floreana in the Galapagos who had purposely yanked out all of his teeth so he wouldn’t need dental care, but that seems to be a bit radical. My late father-in-law’s second wife had all of her teeth removed, and so did my great grandmother. Bone loss can be hereditary.

As we get older, we sometimes need to replace our teeth when we lose bone. I am beginning to feel like bionic woman. I’ve got Fort Knox living in my mouth and none of it is gold. I had two dental implants drilled into my jaw several years ago and thought was the end of it. But when I heard the news from my dentist the other day, I felt like I was walking by a metal detector and whammo, my face slammed up against the machine, dragging my body, immobilizing movement. Magnetized.

Except I read that titanium, the stuff dental implants are made from, is not magnetic. Yes, I looked it up because it was something I was concerned about. Thanks to Breaking Bad, I have developed an interest in chemistry. TI, that’s the symbol for titanium. Atomic #22.

There comes a point when you say to yourself, how much longer am I going to live? It is worth it to go through the enormous process of bone grafts, sinus lifts, appliances, healing, drilling, healing and crowns, all of which can take anywhere from 6 months to two years? Wikipedia says dental implants are good for only 30 years.

And then I look at my new Apple 5S cellphone. That which I’ve been resisting. I just made the switch yesterday from Samsung to Apple. My life is all things Apple and has been since I first went online in 1991. For years I had faithfully used a BlackBerry before I made the agonizing switch to an Android. My newest Samsung Galaxy was my sidekick for 2 years. It’s hard to let go. I know the iPhone will make my real estate business run much more smoothly because my laptop, desktop computer and iPad are synched to the Cloud. The switch makes sense.

Until I met with a client yesterday, and she pulled out her brand new Samsung, with that big screen, even bigger than my old Samsung screen. Incredibly easy to read. A thing of beauty. For a moment, just a moment, I felt a twinge of envy and sorrow over the death of my old cellphone. My client had just done the opposite, switched from an iPhone to the new Samsung.

Everybody makes different choices that are best for them, and all of those choices are right. So, I guess I am getting more implants.

Breaking Bad Sacramento Short Sales

ElizabethWeintraub-BreakingBadAs AMC’s ground-breaking television drama Breaking Bad has done for science, short sales have done for certain Sacramento real estate agents. Given some of us sudden respect. Short sales have made other agents want to jump on the same bandwagon, but you know, the key to success in anything is thinking things through; yet, to accomplish that directive, one needs a solid basis, a foundation to process those thoughts, and therein lies the reason as to why some agents in the real estate business tend to struggle.

I recall when Breaking Bad first came on the air some 5 years ago. My husband, who is somewhat nerdy and OK with that trait, pointed out the numbers on the elements used in the beginning of the show were incorrect. Now, that is not something I would know. I barely recall the Periodic Table from school. Science was not my strong suit — my passion was English. Back then, we had attended an conference held at the New York Times which, at the time, owned the company. I write the homebuying website for in my spare time, apart from selling real estate in Sacramento. Writers from all over the country attended this particular conference, and we were excited to meet a science writer with whom we could discuss Breaking Bad and the mistake in the elements.

Except this person had not watched the show. He seemed a bit embarrassed to talk about it. Lots of people have never watched this show, until Netflix made previous episodes available. Last night was the final episode of Breaking Bad. Part II of Part 1 of the end. I stayed up past my bedtime to watch it, too. We usually record the show and watch it at a time that is more convenient for us, like before my bedtime. But sure enough, if we did that, somewhere along the line we would read about the finale. So, after much discussion, we concluded it was necessary to stay up and watch it.

In case you haven’t seen it, I’m not gonna spoil the ending for you. Except to say . . .

Hey, are you interested in another short sale near Elk Grove? I have a new listing coming on the market this morning. It’s a 4- to 5-bedroom, with 3 baths and a pool. List price is $279,000. The sellers are properly positioned for smooth short sale negotiation, and I anticipate a closing before the end of the year. Call your Sacramento real estate agent, Elizabeth Weintraub, at 916 233 6759.

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