Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Yes, Venice is My Muse

photo by Andrew McHardy

I am a huge fan of Kathleen Gonzalez.
Her book "Free Gondola Ride" has been in my carry-on bag for more flights than I can count - it's such a great book to read and re-read.
I've given it as a Christmas gift to a lot of my gondola friends as well. 

Kathleen has done a fair amount of writing beyond that one book, and she also hosts a great blog about Venice and Casanova (one of her greatest areas of interest).

Each month Kathleen interviews someone with a set of questions about Venice and how they see, feel, visit, and are inspired by her.

This month, for better or worse, I'm the one who she interviewed.

Check out the post at:…/venice-my-muse-gre…/

There are great photos by
Tamás Fehér,
Simon Atkins,
and Andrew McHardy.
as well as mention of Saverio Pastor,
Gilberto Penzo, Alberto Bozzo and his Emilio Ceccato store, Roberto Tramontin's great grandfather,
Row Venice,
and of course, Giuliana Longo.

Big thanks to Kathleen for the honor of being this month's interviewee.
It was a lot of fun. I wish I could do it again.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Jonah and Paul

photo by Tony Storti

After finishing their heat in the two-man distance race, 
Jonah Bonner (in front) and Paul Imler (on the stern) shared a look, 
a conversation, and from that point on...a great memory.

This was their first year competing at the US Gondola Nationals, 
and I could not have been more proud of them.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Last-Minute Launch

photos by Tony Storti, Patrice Greenberg, and Greg Mohr

On the morning of the first day of Nationals this year, everything was in place, but one boat still needed to be launched.
Bepi rolled in with his sandolo on trailer, and we all jumped into action.

Here's a photographic play-by-play:
 First contact.

 "Here's what we're gonna do..."

 The lift.

 The carry.

Tipping her towards the water.
 Parker with a quick smile.

Tony had a great angle from on the water.
 Reaching the beach.

 "How do I do this without getting my shoes wet?"

...aaaand touchdown!

Monday, December 4, 2017

GCON Four at the Buoy

photo by Steve Atkins

At the midpoint of the four-man race route, there's a buoy to turn at.
I watched the GCON four as they clocked in their winning time.
This buoy turn was a perfect example of their skills.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Power of Pasta!

photo by Patrice Goldberg

When Bepi of Sunset Gondola was preparing to host the US Gondola Nationals this year, I called him up and asked if he would like to support Caterina's Club once again.  
We had adopted the charity when we hosted Nationals in Newport two years earlier, they are a great and worthy cause, and Bepi agreed.

 photo by Steve Atkins

When we race gondolas, we aren't in a position to raise money. 
In fact most of our guys are students, 
who scrape together tip money in order to make it to Nationals.

We don't have money to give, but we do have something else: visibility.
Put a sign on a gondola, and people will see it.
Get that gondola in a once-a-year race, and people will photograph it.

photo by Steve Atkins

Caterina's Club is dedicated to feeding children in need.
Chef Bruno Serato, who owns the Anaheim White House restaurant, 
has served over two million meals through the program.
I have a huge amount of respect for the man.
When he wrote a book about it, called "The Power of Pasta" I wanted to support that as well...and then I realized how perfect it would be to have those words posted on the bow of an Italian boat, being rowed by men and women who are often truly "powered by pasta".

photo by Steve Atkins 

 Special thanks to Alberto Bozzo at Emilio Ceccato 
for making us look good as we were powered by pasta.