My daughters were the first to be pulled out.
BuzzFeed News Rosa Menendez with her husband Giovanni Lignarolo in Josh's Deli, Surfside, Florida
SURFSIDE (Florida) If a Surfside resident isn't close to a Champlain building victim, they will know someone who knows someone. Rosa Menendez (47-year-old) said that the first child pulled out was from her daughters class. Rosa, who lives in the same area as the tower collapsed, was a 47-year old woman. Her relatives were evacuated from Champlain North. Giovanni Lignarolo, her husband, was also there. He was my nephew's little league coach. They went on a morning walk along the beach to view the collapsed building the week following the tragedy. They prayed at the barrier even though they didn't consider themselves religious. People tuck flowers into the barriers as a memorial to the deceased. They then went to Joshs Deli for bagels and friendly faces. The deli is located on Harding Avenue. This is the main Surfside shopping area that police have closed off. They are only allowing locals to enter. Residents have been coming to the deli to tell their stories, get help, and to ask questions, even with road closures that were made worse by President Biden's visit to the area. Josh Marcus, 47, who is the owner of Joshs Deli, stated that it was quite intense to see how many people came in to speak with me. Everyone wants to make a connection with this place.
BuzzFeed News Josh's Deli, Surfside, Florida by Saul Martinez
One customer wept as she told him how she passes the Champlain complex every day. Seven weeks ago, a regular had sold their condo in this building. The tower that was still standing belonged to a long-time customer's mother. Marcus was a long-time customer who dated the girl who lived in that building. Everyone looks familiar, it's a small community, said Jessie Nichols (36-year-old frequent visitor who came into the deli to get a turkey sandwich at its counter for the first time after the collapse). Her husband knew people missing, and she knew others with missing grandparents and parents. However, they were unable to attend the late-night vigils because they have two young kids. Nichols was not interested in visiting the site of the collapse. It's just a pile concrete. It's difficult to understand. Marcus said that he had been trying to avoid it. Marcus, originally from New York, opened his deli 11 year ago. It served old-school Jewish favorites like pastrami or corned beef sandwiches. But, Marcus added a twist by Jewbanizing a sandwich with roasted pork cheese, mustard, and cheese, much like a Cuban sandwich. He noted that Surfside has become more religious over the years and Joshs Deli is now one of the few nonkosher restaurants in the area. However, the streets were deserted after the collapse. Police closed most major roads in the area to allow rescue workers, equipment, families, and others to access the site.
BuzzFeed News Josh Marcus is the owner of Josh' Deli Surfside.
Josh, the businessperson, is stressed out and worrying about closures. Marcus, on the other hand, is like, "What can I do?" He has collected over $3,000 from customers so far to help those in need. He made 40 sandwiches on Wednesday to distribute to the families of the survivors and missing from the building's collapse. After coordinating with Miami officials, Marcus delivered 170 lunches at the site of the collapse known as the pile on Friday.
BuzzFeed News Photos by Saul Martinez of Missing Residents on a Fence in Front of Champlain Towers South
After delivering lunches, he said it was like a movie set. He was happy to provide food for everyone. Menendez stated that this is what we were trying to do: help others. Lignarolo said that they should not get in the way. After having donated money to Marcus' fundraiser, they decided to help their own relatives who had been displaced: he cooked them chicken soup and she made picadillo for them. Caroline Goncalves (a Joshs Deli server) said that she feels helping is all I can do. It is really, really hard to think of the families that have been lost. A woman called in with missing family members and requested a smoothie. Goncalves added extra bananas to ensure that the woman was well fed while she waited for word from her family. People ordered wraps and salads from The Carrot on Harding Avenue. They talked about the road closures that are frustrating everyone as well as the surreality of suddenly seeing their small town in national news.
BuzzFeed News Peggy Sretev is the owner of The Carrot.