The last time I counted, there were over three dozen Venice-built gondolas taking passengers in the U.S., and a handful of them doing other things (usually out of the water).
And while I love the genuine article, I can also appreciate the pragmatism behind the decision of building one at home.
We have a lot of gondolas in this country.
In fact it seems that for every gondola built in a Venetian squero,
there's another one that was built in California, Florida, or Massachusetts.
Here are a few photos I took in Alamitos Bay of a California-built boat, rowed in an unorthodox but effective way.
I guess in some ways that's who we are:
Americans recognize tradition and orthodoxy,
but in the end it's all about getting the job done.
I would prefer a single-oar approach, but this method has a long history there, and I understand that many of the guys who start with two, eventually make the jump to one after they've spent some time on the water.