Prince and my Real Estate Sale to a SUPERSTAR!
By Paola Padovan, Broker, e-PRO, CAM, CLHMS
The death of Prince marked the first time in my life that I cried over the death of a celebrity. He created the music of my youth and somewhere along the way, I came to love him. Not the person, as I did not have the honor of meeting him. No, it was more of a love of his art, his talent, his spirit. That incredible essence and soul that poured out of every lyric, every note. I never understood why people cried over celebrities they had never met. Until now. I sobbed and my heart hurt.
With Prince’s death I thought of a SUPERSTAR that I DID indeed have to privilege to not only meet, but also sell her a beautiful condo in Aventura.
The only problem is that, at the time, I did not know who she was…
It was the early 90’s. I had sold a property to a very nice Cuban couple and thankfully they were so happy with my work that one day they whispered that they were going to refer me to a “STAR” but that I had to act normal and not react to their fame. They said they could not divulge their name until our initial meeting which would take place in the next couple of weeks. WHAT???? Imagine! I stayed up for nights before the anticipated meeting going through every famous person I could think of. I practiced my facial reactions in front of a mirror. I introduced myself to my image dozens of times until it would come naturally no matter what the speed of my heart rate.
Finally the day arrived. I was almost shaking. The meeting took place in a hotel near the airport. I approached the room and knocked. An elderly gentleman with a flock of white hair answered the door. I smiled and was led to the living room of the suite. There stood the nice couple that referred me and a lovely Latin woman. My clients introduced me to the lovely lady and I shook her hand. I felt a very odd vibe in the room. My clients were looking at me strangely, the room went silent, I was very confused. Finally the elegant Latin woman said, in Spanish, “tu de verdad no sabes quien soy yo?” (“you really don’t know who I am?“). She had a huge smile and it was VERY obvious that she was someone magnificent. But WHO??? I answered that I didn’t know how, but that I did not recognize her. She had a glimmer in her eyes of surprise mixed with a sprinkle of amusement
Ok, so please don’t judge me now. Keep in mind I was in my mid-twenties. I was born in Uruguay, South America but came to the States at 2 years old and although I grew up on Key Biscayne, Florida with many Cuban friends, I had honestly not yet been exposed to Salsa. At 18 I moved to Manhattan and Latin music was not in my life.
So have you guessed who it was???? CELIA CRUZ!!!!! The gentleman who opened the door was her amazing partner in life, Pedro Knight, an extremely talented musician in his own right. She had nicknamed him mi cabecita de algodon (my little cottonhead) because of his majestic white hair and mutton-chops.
So, after the incredible embarrassment of our initial meeting, things went very well. I worked with them for weeks and they purchased a lovely condo with beautiful views in the Mystic Pointe 600 building in Aventura.
Later I came to know and appreciate their enormous talent. And I am extremely honored to say that, for a short time, I was their Real Estate Broker.
RIP Prince, Celia Cruz and Pedro Knight.