+
met gala people ball
Upworthy Photo Library

Something tells us Emma Watson would approve of this party.

Ah, the Met Gala. It’s the kind of fairy-tale ball Cinderella might find herself sneaking into, especially if the prince she seeks is into high fashion.

brooklyn library peoples ballHello stranger. Is that Armani?Giphy

Where, for a measly $35,000 (according to The Evening Standard) one can gaze upon celebrities walking the red carpet in outlandish ensembles both beautiful and bizarre. Some even come with a bonus political statement, free of charge.

That is, one could, if one were already on the guest list. The event is of course ultra-exclusive and by invitation only. Hence, why Cinderella has to go in disguise. Glass slippers and all.

But what if Cinderella was not only allowed to attend the ball, but allowed to attend for free?

At the Brooklyn Public Library, she can. Along with other New Yorkers.

(Yes, in this metaphor, Cinderella is from Long Island.)


On May 1, the night before the Met Gala, the Brooklyn Public Library will debut its third annual People’s Ball, described on its website as a “celebration of style, imagination, freedom, and you!”

The rules of the People’s Ball are quite simple. One, RSVP. Two, provide proof of vaccination. And three, “dress up in clothes that make you feel your most beautiful and authentic and walk the runway.” Basically, anything fancy and creative goes.

Where perusing through celebrity glamour shots can be entertaining, the People’s Ball aims to create a more immersive, accessible experience. One where everybody can celebrate their own individuality while walking their own runway.

The ball will also commemorate the BPL’s 125th anniversary and be hosted by authors Isaac Fitzgerald (known for his children’s book “How to Be a Pirate”) and Scaachi Koul (a senior culture writer for BuzzFeed News).

And talk about out-of-this-world entertainment: Guests will get to hear music from Rimarkable and Inyang Bassey along with viewing amazing modern-day circus acts from Opera Gaga and Paris the hip-hop juggler. Who even needs the Met Gala?

In many ways the BPL’s People’s Ball has extracted the very best parts of what the Met has to offer—the artistry, the fanfare, the glitz—and infused more humanity into it by tossing out the VIP list and opening it to everyone.

As the BPL’s Vice President of Arts and Culture László Jakab Orsós would gladly let us know, this is all part of the library’s inherent design.

“Brooklyn is home to some of the most diverse communities on the planet,” he told Public. “Over the past 125 years, Brooklyn Public Library has always been committed to embracing our incredible Brooklyn community. This event is a celebration of the best that Brooklyn has to offer.”

The BPL has led projects to honor that diversity and encourage more inclusion since its inception, including giving young adults and teenagers free access to banned books and providing healthcare programs and weekly adult learning classes.

A party where everyone is welcome, you get to dress up, dance, listen to cool music and be surrounded by books?! Dreams really do come true.

If you want to see what killer looks everybody sports at this shindig, you can check out the library’s Instagram page here.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

Keep ReadingShow less

Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

Keep ReadingShow less