28 June, 2007

Blah Blah Blah

Hey Hey Y'all..
Just posting cause I can.... Not much going on.. Not much to Yak about... Just posting to post blah blah blah..... I am working on getting the "Cheese song" posted to my blog... When that happens I'll write more about that.... It's hotter then you know what here in NY... Well, Okay, this girl from the American Southwest is not used to all of the humidity that comes around this time of the year...... This desert rose wilts in all that moisture.. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! I know there are some of you out there who deal with far worse then I do... And please feel free to comment on that.. Hey why not it's one of the few things that we all have in comon? OOh I know... There are a few of you out there who will be seeing "The Boys" in London.... WOO HOO!!! Lucky buggers!! ;-))))))))) I gotta wait until August.... Oh well, I always have my pics from FEBUARY!! oh la la... tee hee..
Oh well, That's all fer now....

24 June, 2007


It's really hard to believe it's been a month since I left for France.. To borrow a very cliched phrase It only seems like yesterday since I left for this very special part of the world. The sites the sounds the music, the air, the sea... The friends... WOW... How can I even begin to forget the friendships that I have forged there... It all seems like a very distant blurr yet it's still very close to my heart..
I woke up this morning to the sound of silence... For the past 4 Saturday mornings had woke up to the sounds of pipes clanging and people setting up for the Saturday market in Arles.. Right outside the bedroom window I could see the vendors selling everything from Mou Mous who danced when the wind blew... To me it almost seemed that these crazy print polyester dresses just came to life as the wind blew through them... To luggage to toaster ovens, all outside of the window. I missed the sounds of people meeting friends as they walked through the market... I miss the Arab men sitting at L'Ecluse, a Gypsy bar for 6 and three quarter days of the week but during the market it would fill to the brim with Arab men having coffee and talking about whatever suited them. I miss walking through the market and getting my tomatoes from one special place... I miss trying to muttle through french just to get a bag of olives or 4 different kinds of dried sausage... Always getting a smile just for trying... I miss seeing the colors of the tables of spices.... I miss I miss I miss...
It's very hard to leave a place that you have fallen madly in love with.. It's hard to come back to a place where you are just another face... Even there you realize that if someone has seen you only once they know who you are.. That's what I miss...
I miss hearing songs sung by tiny Gypsy children's voices... Not really knowing where they are coming from but when you hear the song you realize that it's been sung for generations and it will be sung for generations to come. I miss big Gypsy Boys telling stories of when they were young. How things in their neighborhood used to be when they grew up. I miss hearing their song as well. Most of all I miss their smile.. I miss sitting around a table with friends and just talking about our comon passions. Our life's ambitions.
What we want for ourselves.. Most of all I miss their laughter..
I miss not hearing a Television. I miss the way everything smelled after a day in the sea air. I miss seeing the rain make bubbles in puddles of water.. I miss the hot sun that always seemed to be kissed by a cool wind..
I suppose I could look back on it all and remember when I walked into Les Vagues and seeing that smile from one of the Gypsy Boys.. Or when I sat and watched as a second and third generation of Gypsy musicians played and sang their hearts out. I can't even count the number of times I witnessed such greatness... The special week that I had with my dear friend from the UK... Getting to see Arles from an tottaly new point of view.. Seeing Lucien Clergue leading a group of school kids through his exhibit.. The shear awe and spectical of a bullfight.. Getting to Arles from Marseille via Tarascon.... My first adventure driving in france... The bus ride to SMDLM and seeing the old Spanish Bull everytime we passed through "Le Paty" Watching the wind blow the waves against the rocks. Hearing that sound of waves crashing felt very comforting for some reason.. Seeing NY NY sung by some guy in a white polyester suit while 4 or 5 dancing girls with really bad boas and crazy magic dot panties and bras danced with him.. And no I only had one pastis.. So that was not a crazy halucination.. I miss dinner with friends. I miss hearing my name yelled out all over the Roquette... It's almost like the Gitan cell phone company!! I miss looking out of the window on a clear and calm night and seeing the fire flies dancing in the trees. I miss falling asleep on the terrace looking straight up at the big dipper.. I I am sure there are more things to remember and as I go back and look things will come up.. And I'll write them down.... For now these are just some of the things that I have been thinking about. I'll write more soon. ~mel~

22 June, 2007

My Final day in Arles & Day 5 of my birthday!!

Hey hey gang

Well, as of this post I made it back to NY... Just thought I would post about my last day in Arles.

The day it''s self was busy.. I usually wait until the very last possible minute to pack... hmmm no comments on that please!! tee hee..... The last night was well, evening # 5 of my birthday... It started with the usuall gathering of "La Familia" at the house... Let us not forget the obligitory Yelling of my name through out the Roquette. We decided on a little Vietnamese place, that I just adore and the food ain't bad either, that wasn't more than a short walk away from the house... One of the coolest moments of the evening had to have been when we were walking through the Roquette and Pablo and Canut were talking about the neighborhood and what they used to do as kids... That was one of those moments that makes ya smile... Well, there were a few of those moments.... Like when they all decided to start singing to the neighborhood... AWESOME!!!!!!! Or when they decided to sing Happy Birthday to me over a plate of flaming bannanas in Gitane.... It's little things like that that just make ya go wow... And I really count my blessings when I am around "La Familia"

Okay I am going to share this pic with all of you...

I mean honestly doesn't this look like every other goon head family photo you have ever taken??? That back row of people looks fantastic but those three stooges in that front row!! Oh la la!!

Well, Gang that's it for now. I will post more in the coming days.... I need a day or two to regroup...



20 June, 2007

Happy Birthday to Moi!!!


First of all where did the time go... Today is my last full day here in Arles... I'll probably post more about my whole experience here when I get back to the States..

As for today.... Well, today is Day 5 of my birthday... My actual birthday was on the 16th of June. I celebrated with Mi Amigas... It was a perfect evening 3 Gypsy bands in one night... We started the night back at El Campo with Soy.. Being serenaded by three Gitano hotties ain't to bad for your birthday.. WOO HOO!!!Neneto, Manero, and some dude who we liked to call cousin hottie... So that's his name.... LOL!! Again if there is anyone out there who can identify who cousin hottie is feel free to post to the blog.......
El Primo Caliente!!!

Y Papa, Neno....

After a fantastic evening with Soy we headed for La Pampa for a quickie pastis and To see Luna Yena avec, Pablo!!!

Esteban y Pablo

Luna Yena avec Pablo..

After our stop at La Pampa we headed off to Beaucaire to see a version of Gip'Soy play..
eh by this time it was almost midnight and we piled int to Cathy's car and raced off.. We got to Beaucaire just in time to hear their last three songs... One, I might add beautifully sung by two rather intoxicated dudes that decided they needed to be superstars and pick up a mic and start singing.... LOUDLY!! AWESOME!!!!!

Thank God David decided that we needed to hear the song sung correctly and he and the rest of the group sang it again...

Kinda blurry but here's a pic of the band that night, Otro Pablo, David Patrac and yet another Pablo... Hmm I was being inindated by Pablos that night...
That was my birthday Gypsy Soul style!!! A huge MERCI BEAUCOUP to Cathy and Alexa for making my 18th er um never mind how old I really am, very special.

DAY 2 June 17th
Well, day 2 was spent back in SMDLM avec, la famille. Pablo, Canut and their families.... Woo hoo... We spent the early evening shopping and we wondered around SMDLM looking for a place to eat. We first stopped at Yes you guessed it El Campo... Oh la la!! We had to leave that place after drinks because there were far to many dogs sharing your space... LOL!!! Well, we wondered around again, for a while looking for a place that had Coquilage..... If you are not familiar with it... it's this huge pile of sea food.. served cold... oh la la,... Being right next to the Med. sea... This stuff still was crawling on the ocean bottom that morning.. We finally found a place to eat Le Vagues!!! Needless to say it was a total adventure in dining... More like full combat eating... Needless to say the seafood was fresh and the company was amazing.... After we ate we wondered around a carnival that was going on that night... The kids needed to blow off some steam.... And so did the big kids... After wondering around the Carnival for a while we finally made our way back to Arles... Yet another fantastic evening with "La familia"

DAY 3 June 18th

Day three was dinner A mi casa!!! The day started out rather gloomy.. It rained pretty much all day.. Oh well, it didn't really stop us we had shopping to do!!! Okay it's Monday in Arles and it's pretty much like a Sunday in the US... People open their shops only if they want to... Awesome.. We got everything shopped for except for the chickens... oops.. Well, we thought that our little butcher would be open Voi la no problem.... eeeeek not!! so we wondered all over arles looking for chickens.... finally settling on three from a supermarket on the other friggin side of Arles!!!!!! waoh!!

We got everything prepared and told everyone to be at the house around 8 okay.. well, 7 ish rolls around and i hear from outside my window MELISSA!!! being screamed through out the roquette Again... MELISSA!!! It's Canut!!! He was looking for the house... Gotta love it! Now the entire Roquette knows who I am!! Oh la la!

Not more than 20 minutes after Canut shows up Pablo busts in and Sings, in his own very special Pablo kind of way HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!


Mis Flores de Familia!!!!

Once the entire family arrived Pablo's son Jose pulled out his guitar and started to pluck away at the strings.... Well, he handed the guitar to his Pa Pa... El Maestro and Jose, and his sister, acompaied by Pablo, They sang... A little pre dinner music GITANO STYLE!!

Finally the food was ready... Oof I will say this never keep a Gitano waiting for his food.. LOL!! Canut did the honors of carving the chicken.... Okay if that's what you wanna call it...

Actually it was another lesson in full combat eating!!! Woo hoo... It was yet another amazing night with La Familia y mis Amigas!!


June 19th

BBQ a la casa de Poulette....

What more can I say.... Spent the day with La famila sitting around Pablo's pool, eating and drinking and laughing.. Pablo grilled sausages and chicken. We ate way to much and I had a wonderful time spending time with him and his family playing around in the pool and getting to know them better.... It was just a lazy day sitting in the sun with dear friends....

Well, gang today is day 5 of my birthday... I am not sure quite yet what the day will hold.. It's also my last day here in Arles.... I am feeling a little blue about that...

Take care gang...


13 June, 2007

Priere A Sara. Prayer to Sara


Sara, Sara, Sainte et amie,
Ecoute-moi, je t’en supplie,
Sara, Sara, Sainte et amie,
Entends ma voix, ma voix qui prie

1. Tu es de tous, de tous nos voyages
Car nous te portons dans le coueur
Tu nous redonnnes le courage
Quand tombe sour nous le malheur.

2. Nous t’offrons de jolis manteaux
En Camargue, aux Saintes-Maries,
Pour nous ici tout est plus beau,
Car nous y repuisons la vie.

3. Pour notre grand pelerinage
Tu es sacree comme une reine,
Nous venons ici de are en age,
Te prouber notre foi chretienne.

4. Nous te confions nos secrets,
Nous te presentons nos enfants,
Noust t’apportons de gros bouquets,
Nous t’embrassons le coeur battant.

5. Ce soir nous chaterons pour toi
Nous danserons aurtour de fueu,
Nous ne serons pulus qu’une voix
Qui Monte a travers toi vers Dieu.

09 June, 2007

A Day in Tarascon

Hey Hey Gang! Yesterday we spent a fantastic day in Tarascon... Tarascon is about 17km from Arles a 20 minute bus ride through some beautiful Provencale country... Farm houses and fields of stuff... I can't really name all that is growing out there but needless to say the vino will never go dry!! We spent the day at the castle.. It's one of the first castles that had not only one but two indoor toilets.... Okay... If you can call a hole with a 30 foot vertical drop a toilet then that's exactly what they were.. We took le Grande tour.... They had a beautiful garden filled with ponds with water lillies... Again the sun was blazing hot so needless to say the cool damp castle felt good to wonder around in... The evening brought yet another adventure... We had the honor of seeing Georges play... This time fo the year the Gitane comunity gets together in Tarascon and has a small carnival and they set up a stage and some of the regions finest Gypsy musicians come out and just play for the comunity... It was a kind of Pick up band if you will, but as always The music was out of this world.. The band consisted of Georges Reyes, son of Nicolas Reyes of the Gipsy King, Pablo Patrac, two guys who I have seen before and I know there is someone out there who can name them... TEE HEE... And Canut Amador son of Pablo Reyes.. It's amazing to see that this music is alive and well... And honestly it's a shame that most of it never gets out of the South of France... So click on the links that I have off to the side these are all fantastic places to learn more about Gypsy music!!! Here are just a few more of Georges," Otro Pablo" Canut Amador & Kema warming up... Well gang that's all for now.. I will certianly post more soon. ~Mel~

PS. Okay figured out who the guy in the middle is.. Muchas gracias a mi amiga!!!

He is Kema.... Grandson of Manitas De Plata... Hmm no wonder he plays the guitar like he was kissed by an Angel....

07 June, 2007

Just another day in La Camargue..

Well, I know it hasn't been to long since the last post but I thought I would grab the chance while I took it...

I think, after almost three weeks into the journey I have finally learned how to just chilllllll!!!

Hmm it's been nice getting up when i want to. Getting my hour of sun each day.. Hanging out in cafes.... OOOH before i forget.....Yesterday was Mi Amiga Alexa's birthday... Some of you may know her as "Alex" She's been wondering around the Camargue under the alias Madame Ricao and taking pictures like Lucien Clergue..... tee hee (she's gonna kill me for that one) We had a great day... We paid a visit to St Maries De La Mer, where it proceeded to be a bit cloudy and rainy. For a while at least.. Wouldn't ya know it just as we were heading back to Arles on the bus the blazing sun makes it's return.. Alas no beach time, this time around... I still have two more weeks here.... plenty of time to get a great tan and soak in some sea air... Well, that's all for now.. Tonight dinner with Pablo and what ever Reyes he decides to bring with him.... Here are some pics from the Camargue and SMDLM......
Well, Gang I'll write more later..

05 June, 2007

More news from Arles

Hey Hey Gang I know it's been a couple of days since my last post.. Things here have been nice and quiet... Mis Amigos From The UK left on Saturday... BOOOO!! Sunday was a very quiet day I spent the day in the sun watching the wind blow.... Listen, it's just one of those things that happen.... How many of us actually have the time to do that???? I grabbed that chance as soon as I could take it. Monday started out pretty much the same way.... With my daily walk through Arles and my afternoon "hour in the sun" All right Gang I will say this... I actually wore a S-K-I-R-T yesterday... Here is the pic to prove it for those who dare to doubt me!! LOL!!!!

Oh la la... oof... Honestly I look like I am on my way to a Gitano wedding!!! OLE!! After my hour in the sun and my walk around Arles.. I made my way back to the Roquette. I thought okay yet another quiet day at the house.... Well, on my way home I got an SMS from mis amigas de "Gypsy Soul" They were in Arles and It was Benn's last night in the Mother land and she wanted to stop by to say "A tout a l'huere" okay cool... Finally made my way back to the house. I changed out of that S-K-I-R-T!! After a while las Amigas showed up... And about a half an hour later came the "Gitano Pop in" I love this place you never really know who is going to show up at your front door or hollar "Que Pasa Melissa" through your window.... Hmm go figure.. I never get this stuff in NY... Pablo and his wife stopped in on their way to somewhere... Just to say hey!! WHOA!!!!!!!! 5 minutes turned into almost an hour.. It's amazing what a bottle of Ricard and good company can do.... It was a fantastic evening yakin about the things we love the most Gypsies and their music!! OOh before I totally forget.. I would like to give my congratulations to the happy couple hmm really can't call them that now can I? What do you call a Manouche with three wives???? At any rate I think they are all registered at Le Geante!!! Well, that's about all for now from here... As for today it's been very quiet... I got my hour of sun and my daily walk around Arle in.. Ciao from the mother land ~Mel~
Here are a couple of pics that "Alexa Clergue" (AKA Madame Ricao) took of Arles.... And here's a little something for the boys out there...... This thing can't be all about Toreros in tight pants and girls playing grab ass with statues now can it???


02 June, 2007

Support for L' Association "Le Monde De Jose Reyes"

Hey Hey Gang!
I thought I would post this on behalf of a friend of mine.
Here is the link to Canut's blog where you can get more information on what this is all about. www.francoiscanutryes.blogspot.com
Basically what this is. Canut is looking for support his association to honor his father and what he has given to the world. Jose Reyes is the father of not only the Reyes brothers of Gipsy Kings fame but He is also one of the founding fathers of Gypsy music. Canut is seeking recognition for what his father has given not only to Arles but the world. So please check out his blog and offer your support!!
Thank you!!

Hey Hey I'm Back!!

Hey hey!!

Well, I know its been a while since my last post from Arles... I have had the most wonderful past few days with Mi Amigos from the UK....... Steve Karen and Mi amore BENJI!!

We met a while back on the internet. We all share a mutual passion for Gypsy music and the people who make it.. Karen and I have been Yakin on MSN messenger for quite some time. Needless to say after some leg pulling and a few rather large type, e-mails I convinced her, Steve and Benji that coming to Arles was a good thing.... So they did!!!! WOO HOO!!!!! We had the best week running around Arles and the Camargue... We were able to catch the group Soy who was playing in St. Maries de la Mer. We took a day trip to Nime to do a little sight seeing.. Hmm a few of us got fresh with the statue of the Torero but I am not saying who....

A couple of brilliant moments from our week were dinner with Pablo and we were able to see a fantastic exhibition of the photographer Lucien Clergue's work. The day that we all went he just happened to be leading a group of school kids through the exhibition... There was so much to do it's really hard to fit it all into one week... But ya know... I think I convinced them to come back!!

Woo hoo!!

Karen, Benji & Steve!!!! MY FAVORITE BRITS!!!!!!

I just want to give a shout out to Steve for the photographs in this post!!!

10000000 bestitos STEVE!!

Okay gang as soon as I get the time to put a slide show on my blog i'll post many more pics from my time here........