Red Rooster, Bloody Marys, and a Muscle Man

Seen on Lenox and 126th Street 

After being at home in the burbs for more than two months with baby Ella, I ventured into Manhattan to brunch at Red Rooster and celebrate my friend’s 30th birthday. FREEDOM! 🙂

My first thought when I got out of the 2/3 express train station at 125th and Lenox Ave? ‘What the hell is going on in east Harlem?!’ Yes, I know all of Harlem is being gentrified, but I really felt like I was on the upper east side. Lenox was brimming with trendy restaurants, sidewalk cafes, and a big mix of clientele–from hipster-looking too-cool-for-school types to tourists carrying large cameras. 
I was SUPER excited to finally eat at Red Rooster (celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s brainchild of southern comfort and Swedish food) and I was about 3 years late to do so. It was busy when I arrived and a jazz band was performing loudly. Although the birthday girl hadn’t arrived yet, the hostess sat us down.
“Does the waitress know you two are waiting for a third?” asked the male waiter in a snooty voice.
We looked at him blankly and said, “Yes.” Maybe she had misheard us? I didn’t care. We were sitting and I wanted a Bloody Mary with pickled vegetables–the “Uptown Bloody Mary.” He took our drink order and huffed off to go talk to the hostess.
I smirked at my friend and said, “I miss New York attitude.” An hour later the three of us were well into a second round of drinks and our delish entrees. Then it was time to pay…
“One of your cards got denied twice. We’ll swipe it one more time,” said a female worker. Then she walked away. 
Well that was annoying! I looked at my friends and said “Okay . . . so which card? Are the other two cards going to get overcharged now?” 
The waiter came back and asked, “Whose card is this?” He was holding up my silver MasterCard. 
“It’s mine. Why?” I responded, a little annoyed. 
“We have a promotion and when you use your MasterCard you get this free tea!” He smiled while holding a silver tin that looked like an Altoids container. “You thought I was going to say it was denied didn’t you? Haha!”
As we walked to another bar, the birthday girl said a bit too loudly, “The guy behind us is HOT! Muscles!”
That must have fueled this guy’s adrenaline because he suddenly decided to use the curb as part of his workout. Cars drove by as this steroid-pumping muscle man did push ups off the sidewalk. I had to take a photo! Rude waiters, random freebies, and half-naked show-offs–all within three hours of being in the city 🙂

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