Counting New York’s Rats

In October last year, scientists at Columbia University looked at New York City’s rats and identified pathogens that the rats carry, some of which can cause serious and life-threatening illnesses for people. The study showed that rats—as you might expect—indeed carry such germs, for example, as E. coli and salmonella. Some of the New York rats even carry viruses never documented in the city before, such as Seoul hanta­virus, which can cause fever and kidney failure in humans.

Polish-Americans Are Skeptical of a Russian Military Threat to Their Homeland

A month ago, a Polish Club at Columbia University hosted an open movie screening of Warsaw 44, a war drama directed by Jan Komasa about the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Full of slow motion images, dramatic pictures and popular sad songs, the film left the audience speechless; some viewers even cried. In the discussion that followed, someone in the audience asked: What if someone attacked Poland again? Hypothetical questions like that have not been rare for Polish-Americans recently.

After the Tension: Is a Homeless Shelter a Threat?

About six weeks ago, the pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Messiah in Greenpoint quietly opened a homeless shelter. Quietly, because some of the Greenpoint residents did not like the idea at all, and, in fact, tried to block it. Now that the shelter has been operating—serving as what the pastor calls a “death-prevention center” during the very cold months—NY City Lens wanted to find out if the residents views have changed.

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