Connect with us

Latest News

NYPD & New York City Police Foundation Unveil Redesigned NYPD Substation At The Crossroads Of The World

Betty Tűndik



Photo Source:
Reading Time: 3 minutes


High Tech Enhancements Arrive At Times Square Outpost Ahead Of The Holiday Season

The NYPD and New York City Police Foundation, together with other dignitaries, today marked the beginning of the busy holiday season with the unveiling of the newly renovated NYPD Times Square Substation. A centerpiece in the heart of New York City, the Times Square NYPD Substation is a state-of-the-art building advancing the Department’s security efforts for the hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors who pass through the area every day. It will also be a dynamic mechanism from which the Department can share information and engage with the public in a significant way.

The New York City Police Foundation provided funding support for the project, including a generous gift of $1 million from Vornado Realty Trust, made possible by Daryl Roth, Broadway Producer, and Steve Roth, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Vornado Realty Trust. Thomson Reuters and the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation also made major gifts to the New York CityPolice Foundation in support of the project.

“The NYPD’s vastly-improved Times Square Substation enhances our ability to connect with New Yorkers and the millions of visitors to our great city each year,” Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said. “To push violence and disorder down past already record-lows, it is imperative that our cops keep building trust and strengthening relationships with all the people we serve. The New York City Police Foundation is bolstering that mission by funding this important project and supporting our Neighborhood Policing philosophy. I thank the Foundation for its unwavering support of the men and women of the NYPD, and for helping our cops safely protect everyone in an effective, efficient, and professional manner.”

“Millions of families and tourists come to Times Square every year to see and experience the bustling metropolis of New York City–the Crossroads of the World,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This new substation will help keep every visitor safe, and ensure that Times Square remains a popular destination site for years to come.”

“This tremendous project is another great example of the strong public-private partnership that exists between the New York City Police Foundation and the NYPD,” said Andrew Tisch, Chairman of the Board, New York City Police Foundation. “Together, we were able to complete the renovation and redesign of one of the NYPD’s most visible outposts, efficiently and at a reduced cost, all while allowing the NYPD to continue to focus on their important work of keeping everyone who visits and calls New York home safe.”

Located on 43rd Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue – at the “Crossroads of the World” – the newly renovated facility serves as the functional base of operations for the NYPD in Times Square. The 1,200 square foot, glass and steel building reflects the new dynamic of Times Square and enhances the business environment, while providing increased surveillance and security. Using modern technologies to further engage with the public, the facility features interactive technologies that will make the police department’s presence in Times Square more visible and accessible.

While the NYPD has had a physical presence in the area for more than a half-century, the current site, originally the Times Square Information Center, which opened in 1957 and was dedicated in 1958, has remained virtually unchanged since the Times Square substation was relocated here in 1993. One of the iconic features of the old building, the one-story mosaic murals, will remain, thanks to the restoration work of Evergreen Restoration. The map murals are the work of Edward Meshekoff (1917-2010), an artist, illustrator and designer who was born in the Bronx. Made of hand-cut blue and orange glass tiles, the mosaic murals are two of the largest maps of New York City and reflect the City as it appeared in 1957.

Hi everyone! Nice to e-meet you! Here are a few things you should know about me.

I am a conscientious, open minded, adaptable to new experiences and ambitious Business Development Manager with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics - Banking, Finance and Accountancy. Through my studies I've also obtained many naturopathic and nutrition degrees as well. Part-time jobs have added marketing, network marketing, event management and store management skills to my experience through my career.

Through my career I have also been a Hotel Manager and owned a Bar/Restaurant & Internet Cafe. My online marketing and social media interactivity experience was gained when me and my husband started a business with an online/organic webshop & healthy lifestyle consultancy.

I've improved my English at Cambridge Academy of English - 2003, in Cambridge. I live a conscious lifestyle, and try to protect the ecosystem. Animal lover and capable of helping others without judgement or negative reactions, this is thanked to my knowledge in holistic therapies and the naturopathy courses I've followed.

I cannot leave far my spiritual growth and the continuous development in alternative and holistic therapies, so I'm learning at Kyron School of New Consciousness, receiving a Bio Energo-therapist diploma.

Thanks to all my experiences I've decided to venture into publishing and writting, while also continuing to learn many new things daily. I hope you enjoy reading my hand picked PICANTE News and check back for my weekly articles. You can find my articles and news digests in the following categories:


You can get in touch to discuss interviews or possible article submissions by contacting us.

Let's also connect via social media! You can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Guest Articles

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for People Who Love to Travel

Alex Marginean



Photo by Honey Fangs on Unsplash
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Are you looking to buy the perfect gift for the travel lover in your life? Well, look no further! We’ve put together the ultimate gift guide full of our favorite travel items to help you choose the ideal present.

Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2020 – £11.99

Why not give the gift of travel inspiration this holiday season? There’s nothing better to stir up some wanderlust than Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020. This little magazine is stocked full of recommended destinations for 2020. It outlines the top 10 countries to travel to, the top ten cities, the top ten regions and top ten value destinations. With countries such as Bhutan, regions such as the silk road, cities including Galway and value destinations such as Tunisia, covered in detail, give the travel lover in your life a new wish list for 2020.

Solar Power Charger – £25+

Every travel lover needs a solar power charger. This item is a much needed essential when backpacking or travelling off the beaten path. Solar power chargers are a sustainable source of power that you can use on the go without having to worry about getting access to a mains supply of electricity. They can be used to charge your mobile phone, tablet, laptop or camera and all they need to charge is plenty of sunlight. There are many varieties available and they can vary in price from £25 all the way up to over £100.

Lush Naked Products – £2+

Lush is at the forefront of created package-free toiletries. Their latest Naked range offers you shower gels, body moisturizers, deodorant, face wash, shampoos & conditioners and cosmetics. Not only are these products plastic-free but they are vegan, ethically sourced and travel-friendly! Forget the 100ml limit, solid soap can be carried in hand luggage. Lush has made Naked version of many of their favorites such as Sleepy, Dirty or Christmas classic Snow Fairy, costs start from £2 and the average cost for a naked shower gel is £9.

High Factor SPF Moisturizer – £7.50+

In order to have fun in the sun, you need to protect your skin. The gift of a high factor SPF moisturizer will do just that. There are many options out there including high SPF BB creams or tinted SPF moisturizers. Rituals do an SPF 50 moisturizer for £15.50, which is both protecting and fast absorbing. If you are looking into giving a tinted SPF50 BB Cream then look no further than Maybelline Dream Urban Cover Foundation, which is SPF 50 and gives added coverage for only £7.50.  If you want to spend a little extra, then It Cosmetics is your best bet. Designed by cosmetic surgeons, this BB Cream has full coverage, is SPF 50 and has anti-ageing properties, it comes with a higher price tag at £30.

Filtered Water Bottle – £20+

One of the main costs that travelers face is paying for bottled water. You never know when you’re going to be caught short and can often find yourselves being charged above and beyond the normal asking price. This is where the filtered water bottle comes in! This handy bottle means that you no longer need to pay for bottled water and can use water from the tap. The built-in filter cleans the unsanitary water making it safe for you to drink. This gift is not only a handy investment that will help them save money on their next trip, but it is also the perfect reusable gift that will help cut down in the usage of unnecessary plastic bottles. It’s important to choose a filtered water bottle that filters out all bacteria and is not just for improving water taste quality. This means that they tend to be higher-cost items. The Aqua-Pure Lifesaver Traveler Bottle is 650ml and costs £37, it is designed for drinking water and for cooking. The best budget option is the Water-To-Go Bottle which is 750ml and comes in at a more reasonable £20.

Fujifilm Instax Polaroid Camera – £54.99 +

Polaroid cameras are fast becoming a popular travel accessory. Being able to take a quick snap and hold the photo in your hands is a novelty that has been lost since we swapped to digital cameras and camera phones. This retro style of photography is coming back in a big way. There are a variety of models out there to choose from. The Fujifilm Instax is one of the most popular models and costs from £54.99. The film is extra, as are the protective cases.

GoPro Camera – £174.00 +

A GoPro camera is made for travelling. They are compact, easy to use and can take great videos and photos of your travels no matter what activity you get up to. Many travel bloggers are opting to use a GoPro over a DSLR as they are easy to travel with and won’t take up extra space in your backpack. They are also waterproof and incredibly durable, unlike traditional digital cameras that can be fragile. There are many models to choose from such as Hero 7 & Hero 8.  Prices start from £174.00 and accessories are sold separately.

Fitbit – £94.99 +

Staying on top of your health whilst travelling can be hard, especially with the lack of sleep and plenty of new foods and drink to indulge in. A Fitbit can help you stay on top of your fitness by tracking your steps, sleep, heart rate and the number of calories you take in and burn off. It is also ideal for anyone who cycles, swims or runs as it will record your distance, the route and your results. There are a variety of Fitbits available with a starting price of £94.99.

Personalized Luggage Tags/Suitcase Covers – £8 +

A special gift for a couple going on a honeymoon or for someone who is always losing their luggage. Personalized luggage tags and suitcase covers can either be luxurious or hilarious. Some offer personalized leather tags with the traveller’s initials, whereas another version is a suitcase tag or cover with the person’s face. It’s up to you! There are some great varieties available on Prices start from £8. If you want to opt for the suitcase cover with a photo or picture this is available at Firebox for £29.99 and would make the ultimate joke gift.

CamelBak Hydration Backpack – £29.99 +

This is the perfect gift for anyone who is passionate about adventure travel or who loves to go on hiking holidays. A CamelBak Hydration Backpack is a bag that has a built-in water reservoir that has a straw attached allowing hikers, bikers and backpackers to drink handsfree whilst on the go. Bags can hold a variety of water, with some holding 1.5L and some holding up to 13L. Prices start off at £29.99 but go up as the amount of water held increases.

Scratch Map – £6.99

A scratch map is an ideal way to keep on track with how many countries and destinations you have visited. There are many options available, with a generic scratch map or a personalized map available. There are also regional scratch maps that focus on just Europe or North America. Help inspire their wanderlust and give this gift along with the Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2020. Scratch maps are available from Amazon and start from £6.99.


About the author: This article was written by Sarah McCann. Sarah is an avid traveler and has spent a year teaching in China, and in her spare time she loves discovering new places and writing about them. She is currently the Blog Editor at My Baggage, who help tourists ship their luggage ahead globally and take the stress out of travelling.

Continue Reading

Guest Articles

Top 5 Roof Rack Safety Tips

Alex Marginean



Photo by Sara Garnica on Unsplash
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Roof racks have proven to be the perfect solution when it comes to saving interior space, they create enough room for you to carry whatever you want conveniently. There are, however, various things to keep in mind when utilizing roof racks. Here is a list of the top five roof rack safety tips. Make sure you observe them at all times if at all you want to enjoy their full functionality without any problems whatsoever.

Image Source

Select a roof rack that fits perfectly

There are various roof rack designs in the market meant for specific purposes. Regardless of their functions, each roof rack comes with its distinct attachment options. Before settling for a roof rack, you need to ensure that it fits your vehicle perfectly. Have a look at the installation design and compare it to the type of roof your car has. If your vehicle comes with crossbars or gutter rails, you need to ask yourself whether the rack system can fit the roof.

What makes fitting among the main roof rack safety tips is that if the system doesn’t fit, various things can go wrong. For instance, you are going to exert too much pressure on your car. The load may come off and damage your gear during your trip, and also, it may be hard to fit it on the roof in the first place.

Image Source

Make sure you don’t exceed the weight limit

Every roof rack comes with a weight limit. That is the amount of weight that the roof rack can carry comfortably. Before you go on hauling gear on your roof rack, make sure you know its capacity. While some roof racks have a capacity of 150Lbs only, others can carry as much as 800Lbs. Your job is to ensure that you don’t go past the weight limit. Exceeding the maximum capacity puts both you and your vehicle in danger.

In connection to the roof rack capacity, you also need to consider your vehicles’ rooftop capacity. Some vehicles like SUVs and trucks can handle too much weight than sedans. That means you can carry enough load, including a roof box tent for camping. The general rule is that you should never use a rooftop tent on a vehicle whose maximum load requirement is less than 165Lbs.

Image Source

Pay attention to the stability of your vehicle

Once you install a roof rack on your vehicle, the first thing that it is going to affect is the stability of the car. The more weight the rack system can carry, the more unstable your vehicle becomes. To avoid any problems, especially when carrying a kayak or a canoe, you need to make sure you fasten it correctly on the roof rack. That is going to prevent any torque, and you are going to reach wherever you are going safely.

What happens is that the load on the rack tends to increase the center of gravity of your car. It thus becomes easy for your vehicle to topple off in case you go at high speeds or negotiate corners fast. It is, therefore, vital that you either stick to carrying minimum load despite the huge capacity of your roof rack, or you drive carefully.

Image Source

Always make use of cargo anchors

By now, you should be aware that there is a fine of up to $11,000 in the United States if you are found carrying unsecured load even if it doesn’t fall on the road. That is why you need to make use of the cargo anchors. These equipment ensure cargo doesn’t fall off while traveling and avoid ending up with a fine or worse.  Each load needs to be stable and well contained within the roof rack. You need to make sure that you use anti skid materials to prevent long items from slipping and falling off.

Another way you can ensure you don’t experience such a problem is by packing heavy loads on top of light loads. Once you finish, carefully secure the straps and anchors. That is to prevent movement of the load while traveling. It is among the essential tips of using a roof rack that you need to need to keep in mind. Doing so will keep you from damaging your vehicle and causing accidents.


Be on the lookout

Being extra careful when driving is mandatory is at all you want to get wherever you are going safely. You should, however, be more cautious and always on the lookout when using a roof rack system. One aspect you need to know is that you have a load on top of your vehicle, and that means the height is quite high. You should thus make sure you watch out for the bridges, parking lots, and overhead wires.

Any simple mistake you drive your vehicle through a block and cause a commotion. If you feel that you are uncomfortable driving with high loads, go ahead and lessen the height. After all, there is no point in carrying everything if you will have a problem transporting them.

Image Source

With those roof rack safety tips, you are going to have an easy time moving loads and gear from one point to another. It is also one of the best ways to end up with an easy time driving without the fear that something somewhere is wrong. Take note of things such as the height and the weight of the load.

Continue Reading


Can Blockchain Technology Really Solve The Problems Faced By The Cannabis Industry?

Alex Marginean



Photo Credits:
Reading Time: 7 minutes

For sure, anything related to technology may seem too complex for the ordinary person. Despite having a somewhat complex name, blockchain technology is quite easy to understand. I’m just an ordinary person like you and me, yet I was able to perform research on blockchain technology, and let me tell you, it’s quite impressive.

If you have been following cryptocurrency over the last few years, you may have already come across the term “blockchain.” If you’re not a tech expert like me, then you would have relied on Google for the definition of blockchain. Moreover, Google may have given you an answer like this: “Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, public ledger.”

It sounds a lot harder to understand according to this definition. Basically, blockchain is the technology typically used by Bitcoin, which is a type of digital currency, in keeping track of its records.

It’s quite understandable why a few industries have misunderstood blockchain technology, considering that it is a fairly new niche in a speculative market with a somewhat foggy set of laws. On another note, cannabis also exists in a speculative market with an unclear set of regulations.

Nevertheless, both industries are receiving an influx of talented programmers and entrepreneurs looking to present a solution that will resolve their respective industry’s biggest worries. With that in mind, I wanted to come here and present to you ways on how the blockchain technology can actually assist in transforming the cannabis industry.

The Cannabis Industry is Booming

Truly, the times are changing as 30 states have legalized the use of marijuana. Nine of the 30 states legalized the use of recreational marijuana, while the other 21 states have legalized medical marijuana. It is without a doubt that the cannabis industry is booming as a total sales $6.7 billion was reported by 2017.

This number is expected to rise with a projected sales of $20.2 billion by the year 2021, which is quite an amazing figure. In fact, experts are saying that the growth rate of the cannabis industry outpaces that of which was set by the tech firms during the dot-com bubble.

I find that unlike the other industries, the cannabis industry tends to be subjected to careful examination from the public. It receives more scrutiny as compared to others. As a result, this heightens the level of uncertainty in the cannabis marketplace.

While cannabis enthusiasts are indifferent toward the idea of additional safety measures and regulations surrounding product provenance, this is an industry that would need all the help it can get. Regulators, businesses, and entrepreneurs should consider how blockchain technology could be the answer to the challenges faced by the cannabis industry.

Blockchain Technology as the “New Internet”

Before I start discussing the reasons as to why numerous cannabis firms are utilizing their own blockchain technology, it is only right that I talk a little more about what blockchain technology is and what it can do.

A lot of people have been commenting on how blockchain is an “ingenious invention.” In fact, publicly traded companies, such as IBM, are now utilizing blockchain technology as a means to solve numerous issues.

As its name suggests, blockchain is a chain of blocks. Blocks refer to digital information, which is then stored in a chain, also known as a public database.

With that in mind, these blocks, which are digital pieces of data, have three parts:

It stores the details concerning a transaction, which would involve the time, date, and dollar amount of the most recent purchase.
It also stores the information concerning those participating in the transaction. However, instead of using a name, blockchain technology reads data through unique digital signatures.

Lastly, blocks store data that makes each block unique. A code, which is referred to by many as a “hash,” is assigned to a block which will represent a particular transaction. The code of your previous purchase may look identical to your recent purchase; however, the blocks can easily tell each transaction apart by using the codes.

When a block stores new information, that information is added to the blockchain. However, before a blockchain is formed, there are four things that must first happen:

  • A transaction must first occur
  • The transaction must be verified
  • The transaction details must be stored in a block
  • The block must be provided with a hash

Why Cannabis Companies Are Embracing Blockchain Technology
Similar to most supply chains, the cannabis industry can greatly benefit from the blockchain technology. The enhanced provenance that blockchains can provide brings about the peace of mind in both suppliers and customers.

By utilizing blockchain technology, it would be easy to identify how marijuana was grown and by whom, who were the parties involved in every cannabis transaction, and that no link along the cannabis supply chain was involved in any illegal elements.

Without further adieu, here are some of the reasons why cannabis companies are embracing blockchain technology.

Processing of Payments
The processing of payments is probably one of the struggles of the cannabis industry. Despite having the majority of the states in the US legalized either recreational or medical marijuana, the federal law still poses a number of restrictions as to how payment is accepted and stored by cannabis-based firms. Moreover, 300 out of 11,000 banks, in the United States of America allow cannabis business owners to open an account.

Since cryptocurrencies and other digital currencies are unregulated and decentralized, this provides cannabis business owners the ability to accept secure and fast payments that are cashless. Since cannabis-based businesses are cash-only businesses, blockchain technology can greatly aid in the accounting processes of the business.

With blockchain technology, owners of cannabis companies no longer have to sift through an infinite amount of financial statements. Blockchain technology will not only change how payments are accepted by the cannabis industry but also the entire operation of global commerce.

Quality Assurance
The production process of cannabis may touch on numerous businesses – from the farmers and growers to the authorized dispensaries, and from cannabis retailers to consumers. Nevertheless, the utilization of blockchain technology in the supply chain of cannabis businesses provides a complete picture of its end-to-end process; thus, ensuring quality assurance.

Stemming from the previous point, blockchain technology also allows the consumers, regulators, and business owners of cannabis products to pinpoint the inefficiencies in the cannabis end-to-end process. Remember, a supply chain that is supported by the blockchain’s flawless math has the potential to produce an improved overall customer experience.

Standard of Transparency
Paragon CEO Jessica Versteeg shares with Rolling Stone on how her cannabis startup is utilizing its very own cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology. For VerSteeg, it’s all about transparency in the cannabis space, considering the fact that this industry is facing unclear regulations across borders.

The ledger used by the blockchain technology can either reduce or eliminate any trace of human-based complication because it is unchanging. Financial institutions and government agencies that are performing audits on cannabis-related transactions can utilize blockchain technology as a means to keep track of its legality.

Limiting Over-Consumption
There are still unclear parameters governing the use, sale, and purchase of cannabis in states that have legalized its production and consumption. While there isn’t much difference between the legality of marijuana among the various states, the laws governing cannabis production and consumption are still too difficult to enforce.

This difficulty can actually lead to potential criminal networks. What’s worse is that tracing and identifying who is abiding by the regulations and who is going against it has become much more challenging.

Needless to say, heavy-handed tactics are prohibited in the context of the legalization of cannabis, and a simple introduction of blockchain technology to monitor and track personal sales would represent a fair middle ground between the current lack of command and more unhandy strategies.

There are two companies that use blockchain technology to solve this kind of issue. With IBM’s proposed solutions, there is an increased transparency on the legality of cannabis sales. In addition, BlockMedx is working on various ways in which blockchain can assist in combatting opioid abuse.

Facilitating Taxation
No matter where you buy it or how much you paid for it, you are always going to face a heavy tax when purchasing marijuana products; this was a huge part of the legalization pitch, after all. In fact, California reported over $2.7 billion wroth of cannabis derived tax.

If one is to utilize blockchain ledger technology and that this would be mandated for dispensaries, there is a high chance that sales figures would become certain and stable. By extension, it would lead to accurate taxation and simpler audits for all of the parties involved. The best part is that the revenues from cannabis-related transactions are given back in larger amounts to the citizens of the states who have chosen to legalize marijuana.

Again, IBM as one of the companies who proposed to the Canadian Government a particular blockchain solution for ensuring the effective and accurate tracking of cannabis so much so that it would lead to easier taxation.

Nevertheless, the act of utilizing blockchain technology can also present a number of disadvantages and risks for the cannabis industry. In fact, a company by the name of Deloitte mentioned how blockchain risks are classified into three categories, which are as follows:

Standard Risks
Blockchain technology will open cannabis-based companies to various risks that are associated and are actually quite similar to that of the current business processes. This can be considered as a nuance for those who need to account for their transactions.

Value Transfer Risks
Blockchain technology allows the peer-to-peer transfer of value without any need for a primary intermediary. The value involved in this particular transfer could either be a piece of information, identity, or even assets.

With that in mind, this new technological business model exposes the transactions and any interaction made between two parties. As a result, it opens them to new risks that central intermediaries used to manage.

Smart Contract Risks
When it comes to smart contract risks, these have the potential to encode complex financial, legal, and business arrangements on the blockchain system. Furthermore, it could also result in a higher level of risk associated with the act of mapping these transactions from the physical to the digital structure.

Final Thoughts on CBD and Cryptocurrency intersection

It is without a doubt that blockchain technology has the ability to transform any business process. It can do so by disintermediating the business’ processes and central entities, improving any of its efficiencies, and allowing the creation of an immutable audit on transactions.

According to what has been explained about blockchain technology, and what has been shared regarding the current state of the cannabis industry in the United States of America, it is clear that this industry can benefit from using this developing technology as a means to track and monitor its end-to-end process without ever neglecting marijuana laws.

With that in mind, here are my final thoughts on the utilization of blockchain technology by businesses in the cannabis industry:

One thing is for sure, blockchain technology brings about an impact in various industries only because companies are choosing to embrace its system. Basically, blockchain technology can assist in the seed-to-sale monitoring and tracking of the cannabis industry.

The states that have legalized the use of either recreational or medical marijuana make use of scanning and tracking procedures so that they can monitor the journey of every cannabis product until it reaches the end-user. Nevertheless, the full farm-to-table life cycle is quite difficult to track.

This is where the blockchain technology comes in. It can easily fix this particular issue that the cannabis industry is facing. With the used of codes and labels that blockchains bring to the table, all of the information concerning cannabis-related transactions can easily be traced, stored, archived, and searched.

More and more companies are now turning to blockchain technology for a more decentralized, secured, and transparent data ledger. With that in mind, I can vouch for having at least a blockchain developer be part of your team.

By welcoming blockchain into your business, much like what cannabis companies are doing now, you are allowing easy verification without having the need to be dependent on third-parties.


Continue Reading

Font Resizer

Subscribe to PICANTE via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to PICANTE and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow us on Facebook

Read more from our authors

Follow our Tweets


Please turn AdBlock off