Sunday, May 8, 2016

Roto Sorixo's New Servizio

I have a friend named "Roto".

Full gondolier name: "Roto Sorixo".
He grew up in Southern California, learned the art of Venetian rowing
at Sunset Gondola, under the tutelage of Tim "Bepi Venexiano" Reinard,
and Tyson Davis.
Roto also rowed passengers in Alamitos Bay,
and in my servizio in Newport Beach.

At some point he came into possession of his own gondolas.
One has operated in Oxnard and Lake Tahoe.
The other, a curious yellow gondola, spent years in his driveway,
receiving careful restoration.

Now, if you know him,
you know that Roto keeps his cards face down on the table.
You never know what he's got planned until it happens.

Last month he launched an operation in Long Beach,
in front of the Maya Hotel - across the water from Rainbow Harbor
and Shoreline Village, and a quarter mile down the channel from
the famous Queen Mary.

The company name is La Luna Gondola.
The website -

Here are some photos he sent me this week.

Under the Queensway Bridge.
Promotional setup, including chairs from the gondola.

Roto on his gondola.

As you can see, she is no longer yellow, but still retains the name "Giallo".
With traditional black paint and a red color scheme, she looks almost just like her counterparts in Venezia. 
I say almost, because no other gondola has upholstery quite like this.

Her age is a mystery, as well as her squero.
We know she was built in Venice, but as of yet,
we don't know who built her.
When she served in Venice, she was #181, and the tags are still on her.
Roto tells me:
I don't know who crafted her or when,
but she was built well and rows exceptionally. 
My compliments to the builder, whoever that might be.

 Interior view.
Roto and gondolier Eric England, ready to row!
Roto's wife takes a turn on the back,
with the Queen Mary in the background.

Traditional brass cavallo.
Roto shared this photo with me saying:
Here is a picture of my grandparents from Trieste. I wish I could have taken them on a gondola ride, that would have been awesome. Maybe one day!
 Congratulations to Roto and his family.
Thanks for keeping us guessing for so long.
I'm glad you finally put that beautiful boat in the water.
Best of luck in your new endeavor.
     Company: La Luna Gondola
     address: 700 Queensway Dr.
                  Long Beach, CA 90802
     phone number: (562) 452-0175

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