Martin Scorsese grew up in Manhattan, but his grandparents lived on Staten Island. In his 1974 documentary Italianamerican, he interviewed his mother about her parents, Martin and Domenica Cappa.
"I remember one time we had a fig tree. (My father) used to love fig trees, but my mother couldn't stand them. In the winter time you had to cover them very, very well, otherwise they froze. One winter when he did climb up -- he was getting old -- my father fell off the ladder and he got hurt, and my mother was so angry. She says to him, 'I hope those fig trees die, I hope they never bloom again!' she said, and then, of course, my mother became ill. And the next winter she passed away and the trees never bloomed anymore. It was like she took them with her, and that was that." [Link]A reporter from the Staten Island Advance went to the Cappa home to see if the curse still held. "I've tried three times to plant a fig tree here," the current owner said, "I've given up on that. It won't take."