Plus, the latest on rescue efforts in Surfside and an influential musician moves to Miami.
The New Tropic
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Together, our community foundations have launched a hardship fund to help those impacted by the devastating building collapse in Surfside.

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🌪 Tropical Storm Elsa rears its rainy head

Plus, the latest on rescue efforts in Surfside and an influential musician moves to Miami.

By Zach Schlein

It’s Friday.

And it’s also been a very long week. Speaking from the heart for a moment, I — hi, Zach here 👋 — just want to say that for all of the heartbreak that’s dominated the last few days, it’s also been heartening to see Miami come together as a community. Whether it’s been initiatives I’ve heard about and shared in this very newsletter or emails I’ve gotten from readers, there’s been no shortage of people and organizations standing at the ready to help Surfside out right now.

The New Tropic previously shared lists compiling ways to help in this newsletter as well as this one. You’ll also find a link to the Support Surfside initiative at the top of today’s edition, but here’s another for good measure. Adding two more to the long list of thoughtful names, Feeding South Florida is working with groups on the ground in order to get supplies to where they’re needed, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade is offering a free summer camp experience to displaced youths who could really use some joy and escape right about now.

What’s more, the word is that Neighbors 4 Neighbors experienced a surge in donations following a mention in Wednesday’s newsletter. This group is doing invaluable work providing resources to first responders as well as raising funds to assist affected families with long-term recovery efforts. As previously noted, anyone interested in assisting can make contributions via the org’s Surfside Building Collapse Victim Fund or learn more by calling 305-597-4404, texting “surfsidefund” to 41444, or visiting its official website and social media profiles.

Thank you Miami for everything, always. ❤️☀️❤️ Now for the latest...

💧 What Miami is talking about 

It’s been a very long week — consider using the three-day weekend to get some rest and take care of yourself. ❤️ | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag either #thenewtropic or @thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day.  (📸: @where_it_takes_you_)  

Rescue efforts at the scene of the Champlain Towers South collapse were paused early Thursday morning. The decision was made around 2 a.m. over fears about further structural collapse and to ensure the safety of rescue workers. During a press conference, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky explained that there had been troubling movements in the building’s standing remains in addition to reports that cracks could be heard emanating from the condo. Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s chief financial officer, was quoted as calling the disaster “the third-largest building failure in the history of the United States” behind only the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 attacks. (CBS Miami / ABC News)

➡️ As of writing, there are 18 confirmed deaths with 145 people still unaccounted for. A family of four — Marcus Guara, his wife Anaely, and their two daughters Lucia and Emma — are among the known victims. Nava Lisman, an 11-year-old classmate of Lucia who lives nearby Champlain Towers South, started a GoFundMe for families of the victims. So far, she has raised more than $15,000 of her $50,000 goal; here’s the link if you’d like to make a donation. (Local 10)

🗣 President Joe Biden visited Surfside yesterday to meet with local officials, families affected by the tragedy, and first responders. The president pledged to provide as much federal support as possible and was thanked by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava for his assistance. A formal investigation into the collapse has already been launched by the National Institute of Standards and Technology; a former director with the federal agency said it may only be a matter of months before findings are released. (Local 10 / Miami Herald)

🌪 Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Elsa formed over the Atlantic Ocean early Thursday morning. It’s the fifth named storm of 2021; according to one hurricane researcher, E-named storms typically form around late July or early August. Officials say they are monitoring the storm and its potential impact on rescue operations at Champlain Towers South. Forecasts say it could affect South Florida as soon as Tuesday. (Miami New Times)

📰 Champlain Towers South attracted controversy from the moment it began construction more than four decades ago. The Miami Herald shared a must-read feature yesterday detailing late property developer Nathan Reiber’s pursuit to build the beachside residence and its sister condominiums. Besides providing a biography of the real estate mogul, writer Deirdra Funcheon’s thoroughly researched report contextualizes the building’s assembly within the longstanding coziness between developers and local politicians as well as Miami's larger history. (Miami Herald)

✉️ Several members of the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association stepped down in 2019 over disagreements about how to address the building’s structural defects. According to the Washington Post, this included then-board president Anette Goldstein, who decried “ego battles” and “circulation of gossip and mistruths” in her September 2019 resignation letter. However, experts say this tragedy could prompt much-needed reforms on how local governments hold buildings to task concerning repairs. (The Hill / Local 10)

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🎉 Congrats to these giveaway winners!

Five lucky New Tropic readers will soon have this lovely print of The Florida Alphabet in their homes. 😊 (📸: @studiocpl)

Jennifer F., Bethany B., Bill K., Elia K., and Camille L. are the winners of our Florida Alphabet print giveaway! This fauna-filled illustration was made by Studio CPL, a husband-and-wife creative agency who want to raise awareness and appreciation for Florida’s amazing biodiversity and culture. 

Be on the lookout for the upcoming Sun and Sand Comic Anthology from Radiator Comics to spot Studio CPL’s next piece. If you’d like to request custom art or snag The Florida Alphabet for yourself or as a gift, be sure to check out Studio CPL’s official website and Instagram page.

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🎶 Blast to the past with Questlove's electric, joyous music documentary "Summer of Soul" at Gables Cinema(Coral Gables)

🎧 Throw down with Matthew Dear and DJ W!ld during an evening curated by Minimax in partnership with Un_Mute (Downtown)

🇺🇸 Celebrate July 4 with an in-Person Independence Day Unity Concert with vocalist Lauren Carter(Miami)

🌇Set sail for Stiltsville at sunset during this guided boat tour led by local historian Cesar Becerra (Key Biscayne)


🍨 Cool off this summer by learning how to make a delicious tropical Coconut Gelato (Coral Gables)

😂 Have a laugh during Luckner Bruno's "The Sovereign Show" as part of the Sandrell Rivers Theater's ONE@SRT series (Liberty City / Online)

💃 Boogie down with Mystic Bill, Dude Skywalker, and some of Miami's most dedicated party people (Downtown)

🤗 Feel the love as Jellybean Benitez and Layla Benitez take over Floyd for an all-night family affair (Downtown)

👕 Learn how to sew and revamp your tees during this DIY Tee Shirt Remix Workshop at The Citadel(Little River)


🇺🇸 Spend Independence Day with your friends and family at Fairchild Garden(Coral Gables)

🎉 Join long-running Miami party The Love Tempo for its third-anniversary celebration at ATV Records (Downtown)

😮 Enjoy PAMM's Fourth of July festivities featuring live music by Lemon City Trio, drink specials, art tours, and much more (Downtown)

🇺🇸 Celebrate Americana with 4th of July at The Yard featuring a live performance by rock 'n’ rollers Brothers of Others (Doral)


🍕 Join Miami’s brightest entrepreneurs for pizza and happy hour at The Freehold(Wynwood)

🌪 Prepare for hurricane season with the help of the Miami Climate Alliance along with experts from FIU, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and the Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center (Online)


💃 Freak out on the dance floor as one of Miami's finest sonic selectors, Bort, is joined on the decks by DJ Swisha and Kush Jones (Downtown)

Friday, July 9

🇦🇷 Commemorate Argentina Independence Day with a tribute to the art of tango and musician Astor Piazzolla (Miami Beach / Online)

☝️ A few more things… 

The newsletter will be taking a break for the holiday weekend and won’t be swinging by your inboxes next Monday or Tuesday — see you back here on Wednesday.

But before then, The New Tropic would like to extend a warm Miami welcome to Mr. Nile Rodgers: The Chic guitarist and immeasurably influential songwriter relocated to the 305 earlier this week and shared that he has some personal six-string history here via his personal Instagram.

Beyond the excitement of having another legendary musician in our midst, Rodgers’ relocation is a great excuse to revisit Chic’s countless hits as well as his chart-topping collaborations and incredible production work with other artists. And we’d be remiss not to mention the many dance floor-ready remixes of the disco maestro's music by artists influenced through his Midas touch.👈🎸👈

Have a great weekend and be sweet out there,

Zach at The New Tropic

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