Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Gary Under the Arch

Gondolier Gary Serbiniuk rowed masterfully today
for a music video shoot in Newport Harbor.
Here's a snap I took under the Lido Island bridge.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Great Seats!

photos by Nereo Zane
My friends at the GSVVM - a rowing club I'm a member of in Mestre - launched several of the club boats to row into the city for Regata Storica.
Some years back I was fortunate enough to make it to Venezia for this annual event, and I will truly never forget it.  The GSVVM has a large fleet of rowing craft, ranging from tiny mascarete to a huge quattordesona. 
If you can get aboard one, and get into the city early enough, you can tie up along the Grand Canal and enjoy the parade and races from the very best location.
Nereo Zane was aboard a caorlina, with a group of club members on several boats.
These are photos he sent me from the day.
Some of the club members watching the activity on the water.

Club spirit!

The best seats in the house.

Our neighboring club in Mestre wears green and white.

This is one of those "everyone's gonna be out there" days.
All the rowing clubs dress up and row their finest boats.
Of course, you can expect to see some of the biggest multi-oared vessels gliding by.
I like to call these boats the "big desonas".

The Associazione Settemari out of Cannaregio proudly showing off their ten-oared "Diesona"

One the most impressive club boats is the 18 oar disdotona - the pride of the club Canottieri Francesco Querini in Castello.

My personal favorite is "Mestrina" - a quattordesona (14 rowers),
representing the GSVVM in Mestre.

These boats are so long that you can't always capture one from tip to tip with your camera.

Along with rowing club boats, there are period vessels,

with folks in period costume.

It's always fun to see someone you know on one of these boats.

After all of the processions, the canalazzo is cleared, and the races begin.
I could fill up an entire blog with all of the photos of all of the boats in all of the races, but in the interest of brevity, here are just a few.

In the six-man caorlina race, there are 54 rowers spread out over the nine individual boats.  Just about everyone knows someone on a boat - so there's always lots of shouting from the spectators.

The GSVVM crowd were all cheering for the white boat.

The women's race takes place on light, fast mascarete.
I believe there were club members on both the green and the orange boat.

Actually I know the woman in front on the orange mascareta.

Heading towards the finish line.

As fast as possible.

Big thanks to Nereo Zane for these great images, and for making us feel like we were right there with the GSVVM club members, sitting on the rails of those club boats.

Maybe next year some of us will be.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Breakdown of Suppliers

photo by Oliver Johnson
Hat by Giuliana Longo
Stripes and white marinera by Emilio Ceccato
Oar by Saverio Pastor
Gondola by Thom Price and Daniele Bonaldo
Sunset by God (who loves us and wants us
to be happy - see photo above for proof)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

GCON 4 - Dialing It In

As the US Gondola Nationals approaches, new teams are formed and established teams regroup - all in the interest of bringing their very best to the competition.
Last year the four-man team from The Gondola Company of Newport made a big statement with a silver-medal finish, and a time only thirty seconds behind the fastest team.
This year they plan to upset things for the first-place team
(and I must admit that I'm a little nervous...because the first-place team is MY team!)
This evening, as the sun set over Newport, they had another scheduled workout row, complete with strategy discussions and aggressive training.
It's all in the name of working out the kinks, dialing things in, and clocking the very best time possible in the event - an event that's now about forty days away.
Talking strategy.
Ever the surfer, Parker prefers the barefoot approach.
Is it just me, or would this make a great album cover for a band?

Trademark backwards baseball cap.
Shoving off...
...and rowing off into the sunset.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Nolite Oblivisci

do not forget.

For some it may have softened,
but for us, the memory of September 11th will never fade.

We will never forget.

photo by Nereo Zane

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Saturday Night on the Docks

Saturday night on the docks.
It was a beautiful September evening.
The winds were just strong enough to keep guys on their toes,
just refreshing enough for passengers to enjoy them.

I caught guys as they came and went,
snapping the occasional image when I could.

Gary takes off.

Mike O. approaches the dock.

What a sunset!
And then there was Simon's departure:

There are times when things are less-than-perfect,
and we think of times that were better.
This was one of those times.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Eddie Asked, and Jessica Answered!

photos by Ella Mahoney
On Monday morning, under a serenely overcast sky, Gondola Company of Newport manager Eddie Rivera helped his girlfriend Jessica onto a gondola in Newport Harbor. 
She suspected something was up.
He was dressed up, and not wearing stripes,
she had been dressed and primped for this "date" by her best friend,
oh, and then there was the fact that it was their ten year dating anniversary.
I was heading out for a workout-row on the pupparin,
and decided to follow at a distance so I could witness what followed.

Stepping aboard.

Heading out.

Under the Newport Boulevard bridge.

Once they reached a nice spot up in the canals,
Eddie stowed his oar and climbed into the passenger area of the gondola.

Climbing down.
Facing Jessica.
 kneeling down

Aaand yes, proposing!
Sure enough, Eddie asked the big question.
She said "Yes", of course.
And how could she not?
Eddie had commissioned a custom engagement ring which included diamonds and an amethyst (her birth stone) - both were from dear relatives, and held great significance.
Eddie knows how to row a gondola.
He also knows how to commission a great ring.
And on Monday morning he turned out to be pretty darn good at asking a big question.
Putting on the ring.
Cruising afterwards, the mood was fantastic.

The newly engaged couple shared a kiss under the 38th Street bridge.
After the question was asked and the answer was given,
I was able to approach the boat and chat them up a little.
Everyone had a great time.
I had Ella on the boat with me, shooting some paparazzi-style photos.
We were both honored to be there.
We see a lot of proposals, but it's not every day
that we get to see a gondolier propose.
Congratulations to Jessica and Eddie.
May the memories of this great day brighten your lives forever.