On a crowded corner of 39th St and Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan, a roly-poly Italian-American man is selling Sopranos memorabilia to tourists from the back of a van. He has books, posters, New York licence plates with GOOMBAH and FUHGEDDABOUDIT on them, and signed colour photographs of scenes from the show. In one photo, Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, who died last week, is standing with his lieutenants Christopher and Vito outside Satriale's Pork Store.
Then I do a double-take: the man selling the merchandise is not some cut-rate midtown hustler – it's Vito himself! (Or, should I say, Joseph Gannascoli, who played him.)