Anyone who has been to South Florida in recent years knows that Harding Avenue in Surfside is the hub of kosher food including its many upscale restaurants. Many of the people who lived in Champlain Towers no doubt moved there because of its proximity to Harding Avenue. I remember a middle-aged woman who lived nearby being ecstatic over the idea that she had everything she needed just a few short blocks away. Rena often ate brunch and dinner on Harding and even stopped renting a car because it was a short walk from her apartment. The action seemed to have moved from the once central hub of Arthur Godfrey Road to Harding Avenue. As our thoughts and prayers went out to the victims, I could only think about how some of those people moved there, enjoying the convenience of Harding Avenue.
Champlain Towers seemed the ideal location for anyone looking for kosher food and synagogues. Tragically, the location turned out to be a death trap for so many. Harding Avenue will continue to thrive but with the memory that it lost some of its most loyal neighbors, people who bought condominiums nearby just to be able to enjoy the convenience of having kosher food at their fingertips. Harding Avenue and all of us will miss these precious souls.