Last week I stopped in Place Dalida to finish a sandwich. Between meetings on either side of the butte, I was in the right place at the right time to cross paths with my old friend Ealy Mays, a painter from Texas, who was, at that exact moment, moving out of his studio at Cité des Arts.
I hadn’t seen him in a few years. We met in another life when I was a bartender who took photos and he was, yet as always, a painter who painted. “Whatcha doin’ behind that bar? Got your camera? C’mon, I wanna show ya something.”
Anyway, he had been awake all night moving paintings and scrubbing the floor, and that morning had given a historical tour of Paris to a group of American tourists.
On our way up to his studio we were joined by a guy coming for the room inspection. It felt like college again. As the man started going down his short checklist, Ealy played bartender this time and poured us all a cup of wine.
Ealy Mays leaving Cité des Arts, Paris.
Before leaving he asked me to photograph him doing what all the tourists do when they pass through Place Dalida.
"You have to be out now," says the room inspector. "Here, have some wine. " responds Ealy