Piscopo, Sinatra family, and Hoboken officials gather to unveil city’s 1st statue of Ol’ Blue Eyes


Famed comedian Joe Piscopo joined members of the Sinatra family and Hoboken officials to unveil the city’s 1st statue of Ol’ Blue Eyes this afternoon on what would’ve been his 106th birthday.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

The statue was unveiled at the park that already bears Frank Sinatra’s name, located between 4th and 5th Street on Sinatra Drive, which already honored him with a plaque.

The legendary singer, actor, and Mile Square City icon was born on December 12th, 1915 at 415 Monroe St., which has been memorialized with a gold star. He died in Los Angeles after suffering two heart attacks on May 14th, 1998.

“Sinatra was born and raised in Hoboken’s 3rd Ward before he became a global success and an American icon known for his sensational voice and presence on stage and the silver screen,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said.

“ … To me, Sinatra is synonymous with tenacity, grit, determination, and ultimately triumph against the odds. And these aren’t just Sinatra qualities. They’re Hoboken qualities which, if I may suggest, were in Frank’s DNA growing up in this great city,” he added.

3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo also spoke about Sinatra’s impact on the Mile Square City.

“As a little kid growing up in Hoboken I actually played along this waterfront like so many people before, probably like Frank. But there was a major difference in that time,” he added.

“When Frank played here, this was a bustling pier. There were longshoremen. It was busy. When I played here, there was a blight on this city. The pier was collapsing. There was no movement, and something needed to be done.”

Russo noted that his father, Anthony Russo as mayor, began revitalizing the Hoboken waterfront.

The councilman continued that said his grandmother worked for Frank’s mother, Dolly.

“She would tell us stories constantly about Frank, watching him grow up and how our family was intertwined,” he said.

As Master of Ceremonies, Piscopo recounted when he met Sinatra.

“I froze. And Mr. Sinatra, being the always glorious person that he was, he put his hand down, he said to me ‘Hey Joe Baby, how are ya? I felt so comfortable I said, ‘can I call you Frank?’ and he said ‘no,” Piscopo recounted.

Tina Sinatra, the younger sister of Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra, Jr., also addressed the dozens on hand for the unveiling.

“It was a long journey, but those are the best as dad would say … Take good care of him. I know this city well,” she said.

“His fight for individual freedoms and, hated bigotry, hated bullies, those things that we have too much of, he learned them on his block. You can take the boy out of the neighborhood, but you never take the neighborhood out of the boy.”

“Nancy sends love. She’s in the desert actually. She’s delighted, but sorry she couldn’t be here,” she added.

Tina Sinatra was then presented with an honorary plaque.

Students from the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts then sang his classics “Come Fly with Me” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”

“My uncle James Petrozelli was one of the original Hoboken Four. Every Sunday, they used to practice over at my grandmother’s house at 214 Monroe St.,” explained City Clerk Jimmy Farina.

He led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to Sinatra.

The sculpture cost $100,000 to make and was made possible through private donations. Carolyn Palmer was the artist who took on the tall task.

“It is truly an honor to try and capture the magic of Sinatra. His music and work is so inspiring and lives on. Having been loved by everyone, this sculpture means the world to me,” she said.

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