Carpet-Clutching Muffler Man
Jersey City, New Jersey
Arm position: 2 hands palm up
Accessories: industrial roll of green carpet
Note: Watch for the pink pants in the store's truck lot.
After decades of relative obscurity, Jersey City's carpet-holding Bunyan Muffler Man became a cultural icon of sorts. He always had his fans, mostly half-hypnotized commuters passing on nearby elevated PATH train tracks into New York City. But starting in 1998, he has been revered as the big statue in the opening credits of HBO's The Sopranos.
This amazing Muffler Man has gone through two transformations -- first as a lumberjack or Paul Bunyan, then forced to hold a steel roll that looks like a green carpet in front of a carpet store. Set into the carpet is an electronic sign board. The statue moved along with the carpet store from its original location on Hoboken Avenue to this busy and eternally shady spot under the imposing steel arches of the Pulaski Skyway.
The Pink Pants
A mysterious pair of large pink pants stand nearby, also owned by Wilson Carpet. It is rumored that they are half-filled with concrete. We were once told a homeless man was sleeping in the pants, but found it hard to believe -- Jersey City has plenty of warmer and more comfortable places to nap.