Good morning and happy Friday. We’re waving farewell to 90-degree temperatures, although it will still feel steamy today. After that, we’re heading back into a pattern of temperatures in the 80s — and rain in the afternoon/evening. Hello September…

Midtown Manhattan media titans are mandating return-to-office policies on 8th Avenue, sparking resistance from union reps advocating for flexible work. Read more…

New York Times and Hearst on 8th Ave

“Pink Person” Lauren Cagnetta arrived in New York for a college internship and fell in love with the city — and Hell’s Kitchen in particular. The multi-hyphenate performer and dance teacher is also the proud co-owner of The Trans Dance Project. “Connecting humans through dance is my favorite thing in the universe,” they say. Read Lauren’s West Side Story…

Lauren Cagnetta

What we’ve been reading

Text with Eric — the Mayor wants to hear from you! (City & Land)

Chronic absenteeism is still a huge issue in NYC’s schools. (Chalkbeat)

New York’s 9/11 lights might be a hazard for the birds. (The Guardian)

OMNY changes make it easier to get a weekly discount on your subway and bus journeys. (Gothamist)

These vintage fast food training videos are the stuff of nightmares… (Slate)

Freeze Frame

Manhattan Plaza Block Festival

Manhattan Plaza Block Festival is happening tomorrow (Saturday) on W43rd Street between 9th & 10th Avenues from 10am to 5pm. We’re featuring that block and a few other weekend happenings around NYC in this afternoon’s Manhattan Sideways newsletter. You can subscribe here (if you are not already) by just clicking this link.

Happy birthday to Jessica Chen.