Martha Stewart’s first-ever Uber ride was a hot “mess,” so we decided to walk in her well-heeled shoes and recreate the experience.
The domestic diva detailed her traumatic trip in a now-deleted Monday Instagram rant that garnered widespread mockery for being out of touch. Despite ordering “the most expensive version” of Uber to pick her up in front of the fancy Fifth Ave. flagship location of luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co., her jaunt apparently left a lot to be desired.
“My very first Uber!” Stewart began her post.
As a relative Uber newbie — this would only be the third-ever Uber I’d be ordering up — Martha and I already had a lot in common. Instead of dropping tens and twenties to sit in New York City traffic, I generally prefer to fork over $2.75 to wait forever for crowded subways with signal problems.
Since I could only afford one-way in “the most expensive version” of Uber, I took the W train up to 5 Ave./59th St., where it was raining inside the station despite it not even raining outside. A dry, above-ground car ride already sounded like an upgrade.
I walked a few blocks to Tiffany, whose exterior was all dolled up for the holidays in giant jewel-like decorations. To get the full Martha Stewart experience, I popped inside since we’re guessing she did some shopping if she was being picked up outside.
Security guards seemed to outnumber salespeople, and I knew I was in over my head when there weren’t any price tags on any of the elegant rings, pendants and bracelets that sparkled beneath glass counters. Too embarrassed to inquire myself, I waited for the woman next to me to ask the cost of a small pair of earrings she had in mind for her friend.
“Those are $1,650,” said the saleswoman. “That was not my idea,” the shopper began to respond, before a staffer at a different counter revealed the cost of another piece to be $19,000.
That was all I needed to hear before I booked it back out to Fifth Ave. to recreate Stewart’s ill-fated trip.
“I ordered the most expensive version to pick me up on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in front of Tiffany’s,” Stewart’s post read. “The first Uber did not show up. The second Uber came ten minutes later and parked halfway down 57th Street where I could not see the license plate.”
NYPD-stamped cement blocks line the entire length of the east side of Fifth Ave. between 56th and 57th Sts., directly in front of Tiffany. And across the street, on the west side of Fifth, was a bus zone complete with “No Standing Anytime” signs, making it seemingly impossible for any car to legally and safely pick up anyone in front of the swanky store.
This being Midtown Manhattan during Thanksgiving week, I fully expected to wait more than 10 minutes for my Uber. A couple of minutes before noon, after selecting a Black SUV — “the most expensive” Uber option — the app indicated one was three minutes away.
But it arrived just about a minute later, and thanks to light traffic, had even managed to park on Fifth Ave. right at the corner of 56th St., meaning I could safely enter from the crosswalk.
The car was facing south, the direction I needed to head, since I wanted to follow Stewart’s path.
“We were facing east when I had to go west and south,” she complained. “Took twenty minutes to face south west...On top of it all the car was a mess inside and out!”
She illustrated this with accompanying photos of some twigs and leaves on the floor of the car, scuff marks on the car’s interior and two used water bottles in a side door compartment.
Thankfully, my ride, with its plush brown leather seats, was near-spotless save for a few specks of dust on the carpet. There was even a slot to charge my iPhone and some passenger-accessible buttons too fancy for me to figure out what they controlled.
I tried to mimic Stewart’s car floor shot that showed off her high-heeled snakeskin pumps — but my black $80 Steve Madden boots that I wear all winter didn’t look quite as good. They would have, however, made the lifestyle guru’s half-block trek to her Uber a lot easier.
It took just 18 minutes for my $38.62 luxury Uber to travel to Macy’s Herald Square, located one avenue west and 21 blocks south of Tiffany.
All in all, it was a seamless experience. That’s not to say that Stewart’s wasn’t a “mess.” We know that rush hour, and the luck of the draw, can change everything.
And even the ridesharing service felt bad for Stewart. “We were so disappointed to hear about Martha's negative experience,” an Uber spokesperson said. “We care about each and every ride, and have been in touch with Martha and her team.”