Providence, Rhode Island's gondolas will be in the water til the end of the month too, with a special edition of Waterfire on Halloween night this year.
Central Park's gondola is taking bookings until October 25th.
Earlier this week I was on the phone with John Kerschbaum in Minnesota, who told me it was 38 degrees Fahrenheit and he was heading down to row a few cruises. The night before he had delivered a bride and groom by gondola with snowflakes falling.
The punting operation in Denver, Colorado wrapped for the season long ago. They're much further south than Minnesota and New England, but thanks to their altitude, they had a little snow just last week. An alumni gondolier friend of mine, Mark O'brien, lives in Denver now; he tells me that the Loveland ski area is even open now. Denver got a little snow, the mountains got much more.
Here in Southern California we have "winter lite", where the temperature drops to a frigid 58 degrees, and sometimes it rains a tiny bit. If it rains more than just a little, the newscasters call it "El Niño" and brand all their broadcasts for the next two months with "STORM WATCH". All the people in Malibu worry that they're going to die and promptly fly to Aspen or the Bahamas to take refuge.
Meanwhile, down in the Southern Hemisphere, our Australian fratelli are preparing for their gondola season to warm up. Imagine having both Christmas and Valentine's Day during the summer months. I think I'd stop calling it "Valentine's Day" and market it as "Valentine's Month".
Across the water in South Africa, Jeff Livingston is also ramping up operations.
Back here in the Northern Hemisphere, we're settling in for the Fall. I smell more wood-burning fires while I'm out rowing. The leaves change, as do the clothes. And while some gondola operations will haul their boats out till Spring, those of us further south are preparing for Christmas and Valentine's Day business...and hoping it doesn't rain on those days.
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