Similar thing happens to me, when trying to browse the downloads folder, Nemo hangs forever and my desktop icons dissapear. Folder does not have too many files, other folders have more and were showing up without problem.
Had to force Nemo to quiet and when I started Nema again, the icons re-appear.
Did any one of you guys solved this? I think I'll have to install Linux Mint 13 and enable backports but that's lots of update and I like Mint 16, it is the only bug that annoys me What do you recommend guys