Hank and Harry’s opens new location


Today, I had the pleasure of dining at Hank and Harry’s newest location. Right on the corner of U.S. 1 (South Dixie Highway) and SW 73rd Street, Hank and Harry’s offers a wide array of New York-inspired Italian and Jewish Cuisine.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by Buzzy Sklar, co-owner of the up-and-coming delicatessen. He handed me a menu, gave me some information about the grand opening, which took place just yesterday, April 3, and shared what the deli’s goals were for the next month.

The deli slash restaurant had a very modern look to it with vintage oak wood finishing along the walls. The black and white checkered floor with the cage light-bulb holders gave the place a modern setting. The 3,000 square foot space contains a generous sized sit down area with booth seating available.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sklar to talk about the deli’s future plans. He said he hopes to launch a new app in the next two weeks so that customers can place pickup or delivery orders. He also says that franchising and expansion will occur sometime this year.

When I first heard about this place, I felt such a rush of joy. My mouth watered as soon as I found out that there would finally be a New York deli opening up by me. Coming from New York, bagels and deli food is a huge staple in my diet, and not being able to have that down here has been tough, but Hank and Harry’s has fixed that. When I first took a bite into the bacon, egg and cheese on a poppy seed bagel, I immediately felt like I was home.

Their menu, which is nothing shy of huge, temped me to get a few dishes to sample, and then take the rest home. I tried their bagels, pastrami, Italian cold cut sandwich, and matzo ball soup. All of them didn’t disappoint. I will definitely be back in the future, and look forward to bringing myself home without traveling more than 10 minutes.

MIA introduces facial recognition


Traveling is such an amazing experience. Whether it’s traveling to visit friends in snowy Canada, or going on a beach vacation in the Caribbean, the experience is great. There is one thing, though, that many, if not most, travelers don’t like and that is the dreaded TSA security line.

If you’re lucky, the line won’t be long, and if you’re traveling to an international destination, forget about it. The process with international travel is a long and dreadful one. Not only are the TSA lines brutally long, but the customs and immigration lines are quite frustrating. Personally, having the patience of a second grader doesn’t help either. When I was home watching the NBC6 news, I saw a story about new facial recognition technology at the busy Miami International Airport, and I had to do my research.

Late last month, Miami International Airport introduced new facial recognition technology in its newly renovated E Concourse. The E Concourse (also known as the international concourse) is the busiest concourse at the airport. The new technology hopes to speed up TSA checkpoint times and airport safety.

Miami airport officials believe this new method of airport safety will spread across the country and even the world. The new technology is able to screen as many as 10 passengers per minute. One may ask, how will this new facial recognition system work? The answer is actually very simple. The camera will match the traveler’s face to the traveler’s passport.

This will shorten custom lines and make international travel safer and faster. Another pondering question many, including myself had to ask was “Is this safe?” Customs and Border Control authorities could not stress enough how safe the facial recognition system was, and said there were no risks whatsoever.

Immigration lines will still be long; however, if you have global entry, the process should be a breeze. Global entry should be on every international traveler’s to-do list for this year. I myself have global entry, and it makes immigration and customs a piece of cake. The next time you’re at Miami International Airport, check out the new facial recognition system in Concourse E, and say cheese to the camera.

World faces tequila shortage


Alcohol has been a very important part of the beverage world for many years. The earliest alcoholic beverages have been traced back to China around 7000 B.C. and was made from fermented grain. Today, there are many different types of alcohol from many different regions of the world.

Tequila was first produced in the city of Tequila, Mexico in the 16th century. When Spanish conquistadors ran out of their favorite brandy drink, they resorted to the blue agave plant. They roasted the “Pina” (the bottom core of the plant) and then fermented it. After the three to 12-month distillation process, the tequila was finally ready to drink.

Tequila soon became very popular and was the first alcoholic drink to be produced in North America. Around the turn of the 17th century, tequila began to be exported to the United States, South America, and Europe and is still an extremely popular choice among drinkers to this day.

Fermented blue agave can be made in different regions of the world where blue agave thrives; however, “tequila” can only be called tequila if it’s from Jalisco, a Mexican state. The multi-billion-dollar tequila industry has thrived since the turn of the 19th century and is one of the worlds most consumed alcohol. For tequila lovers, unfortunately, there is a higher demand and production is decreasing, which is causing a shortage.

The blue agave plant takes around seven years to fully mature, so planning for this year’s harvest began back in 2011. There are only 18 million blue agave plants that were planted in 2011 and are now ready for the tequila making process; however, the estimated demand for this year shot up to around 42 million blue agave plants.

According to Reuters, tequila prices have shot up six-fold over the past two years. Solving the problem wont be quick either. The next time tequila prices are projected to return to normal is 2025, which is when the next planted blue agaves will be ready.

Miami MLS plan hits a bump


David Beckham, famed English soccer legend and businessman, was faced with another tough challenge this week. After four years of gaining capital and increasing support, the City of Miami and David Beckham were granted their very own MLS soccer club.

In 2017, Beckham and investors purchased a plot of land in the Overtown neighborhood and had plans to start up the franchise by 2020. The 25,000-seat stadium was meticulously designed with state of the art design; however, one problem might alter these plans.

A report by The Miami Herald states that an appeal has been filed against Beckham and his investors. Bruce Matheson, a real estate investor, filed the appeal and is willing to pay more for the site. Many Overtown residents have also fired back at the idea of building a stadium in their town due to fears of traffic congestion and noise.

“Our motto is, it’s not a done deal,” said Amanda Hand, a Spring Garden resident who has helped spearhead neighborhood opposition to the stadium in collaboration with some Overtown residents. “That we will challenge it at every step is absolutely true. There is potentially nothing that will change our neighborhoods more than a 25,000-seat open-air stadium with 40 events a year, including lots of concerts.”

Personally, I would love Miami to have its own MLS team. Miami is such a diverse community and soccer is a diverse sport. I think the match would boost local business and create a greater following for the game in South Florida.

The school shooting epidemic


When the Sandy Hook Massacre occurred, I froze in disbelief. It was one of those moments where “you remember exactly where you were.” I was 13 years old at the time and in eighth grade and, boy, was I scared to go back to school the next day. I kept on asking myself, is school safe?

My answer every time was yes, because I grew up in a affluent town with good people, crime was extremely low. I kept on obsessing about the massacre and thinking of all those young kids in that small, thought-to-be safe town, and started to realize that maybe no school is safe. I thought that after Sandy Hook, something of this magnitude would never happen at a school ever again.

Just two days ago, a 19-year-old gunman with mental health issues took his loaded AR-15 style rifle and shot more than 30 people, killing 17 of them. Families were shattered, people were left lying on the classroom floor in cold blood, and America now reels from another school shooting. This shooting wasn’t like any other shooting and it hit close to home for me.

This one was different because it seemed so preventable. The school was an excellent, “A” grade school. The community was dubbed “the safest city in Florida.” How could something at this magnitude happen again, in a community of this type? In all honesty, I don’t have any answers to this question because, clearly, a shooting like this can happen anywhere. A mass shooting could occur on the bustling Las Vegas Strip, in the wooded hills of Connecticut, or in the densely populated suburbs of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

What can we the public do about this? How can we make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again? Will more people continue to support the NRA and Second Amendment rights?

These are the questions that have been running through millions of American minds this past week and action needs to be taken. Nothing has effectively been done to prevent school shootings and it has become an epidemic. Rallies need to be held, celebrities need to speak out, and Congress needs to agree on rules.

This is no longer a Republican versus Democrat issue, rather, it’s a humanity issue. It’s time Americans band together for mankind and human safety.

Promising cancer approach reported


Cancer. It’s a word nobody wants to hear. The many forms and deadly results it causes brings major losses and hardships to families around the world. Billions of dollars have been donated to cancer research, yet cures have not been found.

Advancements in technology and medicine have slowed the progress of tumors; and radiation and chemotherapy have cured patients; however, there isn’t a treatment that can 100 percent cure cancer every single time.

A recent research at Stanford University in California found impressive results pertaining to curing cancer in mice. The research project consisted of 90 mice whom were injected with two immune-stimulating agents directly into the tumors.

Lead researcher Ronald Levy and Idit Sagiv-Barfi pioneered the project and cured 87 of the 90 mice injected with the medicine. All 87 of the mice cured had complete obliteration of the tumors and were entirely cancer free.

One of the two agents is currently approved for human use, but the other agent is not.

According to a recent interview conducted by the Stanford medical team, Levy believes the breakthrough starts with boosting the immune system.

“When we use these two agents together, we see the elimination of tumors all over the body,” said Ronald Levy, MD, professor of oncology.

“This approach bypasses the need to identify tumor-specific immune targets and doesn’t require wholesale activation of the immune system or customization of a patient’s immune cells.”

The types of cancers the mice were sick with were leukemia, lymphoma, breast cancer, and melanoma. The trick to killing the cancer was activating the T-Cells in tumors, which would effectively destroy the tumors from the inside out.

The impressive results have yet to be tested on humans. The two immune-stimulating agents are currently waiting to be reviewed by the FDA.