Eric and I are always tossing around ideas for for funny things to put in public places. I've forgotten the inspiration, but in 1996 we came up with the absurd idea of Memorial Parking Meters.
We selected Empire St. in downtown Providence because I was managing a cafe there at the time, and could observe people reading the shiney little gold plaques.
We made a list of the businesses on that street, and then began compiling a list of deceased celebrities that would relate to the businesses that the plaques would appear in front of.
The adult book store on the corner got Bettie Page*, AS220 got Miles Davis, the bank got Jesse James, the dance company got Martha Graham and on down the line.
People seemed to enjoy the meters and remembered which one they were parked in front of. I had to stop myself from laughing when a customer commented on them, believing that they were "genuine", something commisioned by the city.
Many of them were peeled off, as you might expect. However, some have survived. In December 2000, Eric spotted the Bruce Lee meter on another street. Apparently the city employees who fix and reinstall the meters liked the idea too.
* My apologies to Bettie Page. I have since learned that she is not dead at all.