A New Identity

 Adapting into a different culture and religion can be challenging for many. For Shabab Hossain, 19, of Jamaica, Queens N.Y. becoming Muslim has helped him positively and move away from things that impacted him negatively. However, it has brought many struggles.  Although Hossain’s family was always Muslim, he never fully understood why they had to go to the Mosque and practice the religion. It was until he educated himself where everything started making sense to him and he understood the values and morals that came with being Muslim.

A Winter Morning in the City

Hot Coffee—in one hand—my face in the other; shit it’s another Monday (Motherfucker!). Warm Winter-day: too hot for a jacket, too cold for my hoodie. Mild Annoyance. Cool-head, cool-head, time to go to work! Cold Commuters, (fuck you), grunting and screaming, (I got shit to do too)!

Drowning in Zika: The Puddle Problem in Elmhurst

With all of the warnings about Zika virus, and helpful tips on how to prevent the spread of this virus, it is completely unacceptable to have the puddles of stagnant warm water (ample habitats for mosquito eggs to live and hatch) constantly around Elmhurst.

The Foul Smell of Contempt: Whitestone’s lack of Sanitation

Picture your perfect, family-based neighborhood, filled with barbecues, children playing, and people jogging. Most people would first think of bright colors and clean, spotless streets, certainly not garbage-covered sidewalks with a side-order of doggy “presents” left behind by uncaring pet owners. Unfortunately this is what my childhood neighborhood has come to. The cause of this growing epidemic is mostly blamed on younger generations, including those who move in lacking a connection to a community's history. At one level, we see this with the controversial issue of "gentrification," where people "improve" neighborhoods to their liking without considering what came before. Over time generations get more and more careless, slowly losing respect for the environment and organisms living in it.

Gunshots or Fireworks?: Crime in Pomonok, Queens

I live only blocks away from the Pomonok Houses, or the Pomonok "Projects," in Queens, in the more private, safe community known as Elechester, and the difference between the two neighborhoods, which are so close together in the larger neighborhood also known as Pomonok, is striking.

Chinatown Trash Wars: New York City’s Sanitation Epidemic

If you’ve ever visited the Chinatown neighborhoods of New York, you would know that their streets are no joke. The questionable stains on the concrete as well as the pungent aroma of rotting fish are truly an unpleasant welcome upon entry. Last night’s trash occupies the edge of the sidewalk. An unknown liquid substance leaks (and reeks) from the garbage onto the city streets and has become a staple of New York’s Chinatowns. Something as simple as keeping the city clean should not be such a prevalent issue in our society.