+
Family

Some of these pianos are decorated with paint, some with grass. Find them in the park and go nuts.

When I lived in New York, it took a lot to phase me. Between dancers breaking into routines on the subway and poets spontaneously performing on the streets, bold public art was the norm.

But one day I noticed something that actually gave me pause.

It was one of those warm and cuddly "Awww … now THIS is why I love New York moments." As I found myself walking through different boroughs of the city, I'd see brightly colored pianos in parks and other — what I thought were random — outdoor spaces. It turns out that these musical instruments have been sprinkled throughout the communities since 2006.


Image of Sing for Hope piano by CBSNews.com.

Sing for Hope is the organization that's responsible for this mysterious piano trail. The nonprofit, powered by volunteer artists, seeks to make art and music accessible to all.

Their piano project, which was highlighted by Nick Dietz in a story for CBSNews.com, was started by Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora. They also happen to be BFFs and successful sopranos themselves.

Here's how the magical initiative works.

Generous people and organizations from all over New York donate pianos. Once the instruments are inspected and approved to withstand the fun journey ahead, a team of artists brings the pianos to life. They deck them out with colors, inspiring messages, and eye-catching designs. No two pianos are the same.

The precious instruments are then placed in outdoor spaces throughout the five boroughs of New York. There are no instructions or special guests of honor. Their simple placement is invitation enough for folks in the community to experiment and play.

This guy was inspired during the Sing for Hope public installation. Image by CBSNews.com.

The best part about this program is that people who may not have access to a piano or be able to afford to hear live music can do so during the 16-day public installation period.

In a telephone interview with Rachel Benichak, a representative for Sing for Hope, she explained:

"Communities really rally around these. These are beautiful pieces created by artists that took hundreds of hours to make and are then placed outside. We've seen friendships formed, proposals — impromptu happenings. Normal people interact with the pianos and it makes their communities better. It's a really fun project."

But the fun doesn't stop there.

After each summer exhibit, the pianos are shipped to their next destination — schools, hospitals, and community organizations.

Teachers at P94M, The SPECTRUM School, in Manhattan's East Village, were ecstatic when they were gifted a Sing for Hope piano in 2013. Music exploration is helping their students develop their voices.

"We work with children with emotional disturbance, children with autism, children with intellectual disabilities. This provides a very therapeutic space for them," says Tessa Defner, an arts coach.

After the pianos are delivered to the various community organizations, Sing for Hope supplies each location with artists who give piano lessons and classes on interpreting the instrument's design.

A child at P94M using a Sing for Hope piano. Image by CBSNews.com.

It's a win-win for students, artists, and the community at large. To learn more about this inspiring effort, check out the video below.

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

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less