Plus, a list of local LGBTQ+ musicians making waves and Miami celebrates a big birthday.
The New Tropic
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🗣 “There’s no right response — everybody is going to experience this differently.”

Plus, a list of local LGBTQ+ musicians making waves and Miami celebrates a big birthday.

By Zach Schlein

It’s Thursday and the first day of July.

More New Tropic readers got in touch yesterday to share how they’ve been affected or are processing the events in Surfside. Thank you to everyone who’s reached out — it truly means the world to hear from you all and be reminded that we’re all in this together. 🙏❤️🙏  

We’d like to share a note from longtime reader Estefania G. shouting out the work being done by her former employer, the American Red Cross:

“A lot of people associate the Red Cross with hurricanes or natural disasters, but they actually show up at tragedies like this too and partner with the local agencies on the ground. This includes help with the family assistance center and providing mental health and spiritual care to anyone who is affected. Most of the people who show up to help are volunteers — some local, but they also come from all over the country. It really is an impressive effort and one that deserves to be recognized.”

The South Florida Red Cross is one of the groups that’s currently providing aid to those affected by the tragedy at the newly established Family Assistance Center. More details on the volunteer efforts can be found online in English and Spanish as well as at 1-800-RED-CROSS. Additionally, the org is providing 24/7 emotional counseling services via the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990; more information is available right here.

The New Tropic’s inbox remains open to any readers who’d like to share their experiences, highlight ways of helping, or simply acknowledge the groups and people who are doing invaluable work right now; feel free to reach out by hitting reply to this email.

Now for the newsletter...

💧 What Miami is talking about 

Start July on a well-caffeinated note. | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag either #thenewtropic or @thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day.  (📸: @coffeeeandcountries

➡️ The death toll at Champlain Towers South has risen to 16 with 147 people still unaccounted for as of press time. According to Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Ray Jadallah, officials believe that as many as six to seven of the 12 floors that collapsed are buried below ground level. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said on Wednesday morning that search and rescue efforts are going to continue as long as needed. "This is going to go on until we get everybody out of there," he said. (ABC News / Miami New Times)

📰 Ross Prieto, the former Surfside building official who gave Champlain Towers South the clear just a few years ago, is taking a leave of absence from his current job. Prieto had been employed as the City of Doral’s temporary Building Official, a position similar to the one he previously had with Surfside. Years earlier, he told condo residents that the building was in “very good shape” based on a November 2018 structural engineer report. However, several inspectors and experts have shared since the collapse that there had been concerns about the building’s safety for a long time. (Local 10)

🚸 Yesterday the Miami Herald shared tips from experts on how to help children process the Surfside tragedy and other traumatic events like it. “There’s no right response,” said Grettel Suarez, associate director of research & evaluation for local nonprofit The Children’s Trust. “Everybody is going to experience this differently, they’re going to run the gamut of emotions and experience based on their experiences and there’s no right or wrong.” (Miami Herald)

🗣 More stories are emerging about how survivors responded to the collapse as it happened. Raysa Rodriguez detailed the panic and horror she felt as she tried to escape her home in a lawsuit brought against the Champlain Towers South Condo Association. Her claim is among the many legal actions that have been filed against the condo association over the last week. (Local 10 / Miami Herald)

🔊 Pride Month might be over, but there are local LGBTQ+ artists making great music year-round. That’s why Miami New Times contributor Olivia McAuley assembled a list of 10 notable queer creatives shaking up Miami’s music scene right now. The list includes legends like Mystic Bill as well as ascendant acts including Coffintexts and Ultrathem. (Miami New Times)

🚪 Although the aforementioned artists are doing right by Miami’s LGBTQ+ community, several local venues are reportedly not. Per a recent feature by New Times staff writer Alexi C. Cardona, multiple Miami nightlife hubs have been accused of having discriminatory door policies against would-be patrons perceived to be queer. (Miami New Times)

🗓 Throwback Thursday: The birth of Miami

The New Tropic is teaming up with HistoryMiami Museum to explore the 305’s past on #ThrowbackThursdays. (📸: @thenewtropic)

Welcome to the latest edition of #ThrowbackThursday, The New Tropic’s weekly spotlight on the people, places, and phenomena of Miami’s past.

With the 305 celebrating a big birthday this month, the fine folks at HistoryMiami Museum are breaking out the photo album to take a look at the city's baby pictures and founding more than a century ago...

From left: John Sewell Shoe Store and Joseph B Reilly Real Estate, John ___ Tailor, The Lobby Pool and Billiard Parlor, Raulerson Brothers Meat Market, Florida Western Meats. (📸: Claude Matlack Collection, HistoryMiami Museum [1896])

The City of Miami is turning 125 this month and we're counting down to the Magic City's birthday by sharing some incorporation-themed throwbacks! Miami was incorporated on July 28, 1896 by 368 voters, 162 of whom were Black men. Without their votes, the push to incorporate the city would likely have failed. However, shortly after their votes were cast, these same founding fathers of Miami were stripped of their right to vote under Jim Crow laws. 

The vote to incorporate the city took place on the second floor of The Lobby Pool and Billiard Parlor. Joseph Reilly went on to become the first mayor. As women were not allowed to vote for incorporation, Julia Tuttle — who's widely known as the “Mother of Miami,” — did not participate in the procedure. The City of Miami is still considered to be the only major metropolitan city in the U.S. that was founded by a woman. The image above shows some buildings on Avenue D (now Miami Avenue), which was Miami's first business district. Most of these buildings burned down in a December 1896 fire.

Can’t wait until next week to learn more Miami history? Be sure to follow HistoryMiami Museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can plan your own visit and learn more about its array of exhibits and programming at

Promotion from Third Horizon Film Festival

Cutting-edge Caribbean cinema in your living room

Get your tickets now

✨ Last chance to win 

There’s only one day left to enter to win this gorgeous print of The Florida Alphabet!  (📸: @studiocpl)

We’ve teamed up with the Miami-based Studio CPL to give away five copies of The Florida Alphabet, a beautiful ode to the Sunshine State’s biodiversity. 

Enter now for your chance to win a 12” x 16” print showing off our state’s most colorful critters, from A to Z! We’ll be announcing the winners in this space tomorrow — good luck!


🎥 Watch a Third Horizon Film Festival-hosted screening of buzzed-about feature film "Bantú Mama" at Nite Owl Drive-In (Downtown / Online)

👽 Get otherworldly with Life on Planets at Floyd (Downtown)


🎶 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)

Thursday, July 8

💃 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)

👋 That’s all for today

We'll see you back here tomorrow to see you off in the long Fourth of July weekend.

Take care,

Zach at The New Tropic

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