Has anyone noted yet there there really is a statue of Lou Costello in New Jersey? What is the significance of having the scene by his statue? He is from New Jersey, and is actually of Italian heritage (Costello is an Irish name and not his real one), but how does that play into the story except for the fact that he is now just a "cold stone?"
It's on Cianci Street in downtown Paterson, Lou's hometown, county seat of Passaic county and birthplace of the industrial revolution. Here's a link.
(If you google there's lots of links.) The statue was put up in 1992 in what is like the only vestige of the old Italian neighborhood in Paterson. Every time I've been there (lots of times) there are bums hanging out in the little park the statue is in, even in the middle of the day.
Lou was very Italian, real name Lou Cristillo, and there are still Italian-American associations named after him in North Jersey.
So what's the significance? First, "who's on first", the old Abbott and Costello routine about confusion. That's why Phil and Tony meet there, because they don't know who's on first. Another reason that they can meet there in real life is because nobody will f with them in downtown Paterson. It ain't the mall.
Another reason: Paterson really was the birthplace of the industrial revolution in the US. In the 1790s, one Alexander Hamilton made a business deal to use the Great Falls (here's another link
) as a power source to run fabric mills. The water from the Falls was channeled throughout the city to run machinery in the mills. Paterson is called Silk City because of this. Also the home of Colt Manufacturing (there's a Colt Street by City Hall), where they made all those Colt revolvers.
Nearly all of this is gone, and Paterson is now a post-industrial depressed city. The current mayor, Joey Torres, is a great guy, but the one before that, Marty Barnes, just got out of the Federal pen (or will soon?) after serving three years for taking beaucoups bribes from concrete contractors. The mayor before that
was Bill Pascrell, Italian American, who is now the congressman from the area, another good guy. He went on the Colbert Report to defend North Jersey Italian Americans, it was hilarious. They used the Sopranos intro for the appearance.
Using Lou in Paterson is probably an anvil about the demise of the old ways.
One more thing - rumors have floated about that Lou was gay; I don't know, but it's not like there would be anything wrong with that.
Edited by YellowJacket, May 25, 2006 @ 9:44 AM.