Good morning and happy Friday. The air quality index is currently at 138 this morning — noticeably worse than yesterday — as the Canadian wildfire smoke blankets the city. The afternoon high will be a muggy 85 degrees.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church on W51st Street yesterday to pay tribute to Ava Conklin, a Hell’s Kitchen teenager who was hit and killed by a car last weekend while waiting for a bus from her job in the Rockaways. Read more…

Mourners Ava Conklin

Tony Award winner John Rubinstein is currently playing the title role in Eisenhower: This Piece of Ground at Theatre at St Clements in Hell’s Kitchen, but his love affair with the neighborhood goes back to the 1970s. He rides his bike to and from the theater every day. Read his West Side Story…

John Rubinstein in dressing room

What we’ve been reading

* Stories that might be behind a paywall are marked with a 💰

Comptroller says that out of over 2,000 homeless taken from the streets, only three found homes. (Gothamist)

There’s another plan for Penn Station… (New York Times💰)

Fridays in NYC offices could be “dead forever”, with Mondays not far behind as WFH takes hold. (Business Insider)

The Made in New York program has transformed the lives of over 1,000 struggling New Yorkers. (THE CITY)

New York’s noisy streets might not be good for your health. (CBS_

Freeze Frame

Smoke sunset W42nd St

Thanks to Gary Hershorn for this eerie photo of the sunset down 42nd Street last night. The smoke is visibly worse this morning. Let’s be careful out there…

Happy birthday to Ben Schlair, Shom Chowdhury and Will Yaya.