The 'Meh Gala' Brought the Met to Brooklyn's Metropolitan

The 'Meh Gala' Brought the Met to Brooklyn's Metropolitan

Story by Tobias Hess / Photography by Nikole Naloy
May 08, 2024

“We have all kinds of people here tonight,” offered 2024 Met Gala Co-chair Jennifer Lopez to Vogue while preparing to scale the gala’s illustrious steps. “People from music, from film, from fashion... business men, private equity.” I smiled when she said that quiet part out loud. The Met Gala is, of course, about fashion’s very best and brightest flexing their craftsmanship and artistry to a global group of ravenous spectators. But it’s also one of the more grotesque displays of inequality on earth, with the cost of a seat at the gala being an entire middle class salary.

That doesn’t mean us regular folk can’t get dolled up ourselves though. That was the idea behind PAPER cover star and Met Gala provocateur Kuby's “Meh Gala”: a night of fun, fantasy and Met Gala looks at Williamsburg’s Metropolitan bar. It’s not Kuby's first time dancing with the Met. In 2023, the drag artist crashed the official event in a now iconic Lady of Liberty look (which was repurposed for our recent PAPER People cover shoot). And in line with Lady Liberty’s promise, Kuby has now brought the Met’s fantasy to the huddled masses.

On the night of the gala, a smattering of dreamers entered the bar’s dark premises donning an array of outfits that spanned the ostentatious to the typical. Even though some skewed closer to this year’s theme, “The Garden of Time," an air of glamor and play remained strong in the steamy dive bar. With a door fee of $10 and beers costing a respectable $8, this gala was just a bit more accessible than the one wrapping up across the East River.

See all the photos from the "Meh Gala," below.

Photography: Nikole Naloy