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The last gondolier of New York City

16 July 2012 Last updated at 03:47 BST

During his years as Central Park's gondolier, Andres Garcia Pena has seen more than 1,000 marriage proposals up close - from the most endearing to the most awkward.

Sometimes the native New Yorker rows through six proposals a day.

He has seen drunken tourists jumping from the boat into the lake's green water - and some of the antics people get up to on the gondola at night are better left unsaid.

Garcia Pena started the gondolier job to earn extra money when he was a young artist. But even when his paintings started to sell he never stopped rowing.

Produced for the BBC by Anna Bressanin; camera by Ilya Shnitser