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Martha Stewart is a woman who needs no introduction. She has built her own eponymous empire, crowning herself the queen of domesticity. To all who seek a lifestyle both aesthetically pleasing and orderly, Stewart is a guiding light.
She's an arbiter of good taste-and when she wasn't pleased with her first Uber ride in the fall of 2018, the entire internet took notice of her infamous Instagram post.
Martha Stewart documenting her first Uber ride is the best thing on the internet today. pic.twitter.com/bcLH2Fknp8
- corey kindberg (@coreykindberg) November 19, 2018
Now, Martha has teamed up with Uber for the relaunch of Uber Black, which allows riders to personalize their trips with premium features, including settings for silent mode, temperature control, and luggage notification.
T&C chatted with Martha about her appreciation for Uber Black, along with her thoughts on modern-day etiquette, her favorite spots to grab a quick bite in New York, and of course, her upcoming summer plans with Snoop Dogg.
Do you think it’s a best practice not be chatty with your Uber driver?
Some people like to talk and some people don't like to talk. I'm usually so busy when I'm taking a car that I’m on my phone, so I often like not talking. If I have a long ride, obviously I'm going to have to say something to the people who are driving, because it would be kind of weird to sit in a car with somebody and not say anything to them. But it's just a matter of what I have to do at the time.
Do you spend a lot of time on your phone? When do you know it's time to log off for the day?
I spend a lot of time on my phone, but not texting as much as talking-I'm old fashioned that way. I still like to connect to people by voice, and I'm always a little bit worried I'm going to miss something if I don't speak and just text. I'm better at expressing myself with my voice. Plus, it's so crazy that people don't want to talk anymore. My daughter does not want to talk to me, she wants to text me, and you cannot get enough information that way.
My mother would say the same.
Yesterday I got a mysterious text. It said, "Liverpool won 4-0, hooray." Now who the heck is going to be texting me that Liverpool won 4-0? And I said, "Who is this?" And it was my 7-year-old grandson texting me with his new iPhone.
I'm a beginning soccer fan because, boy, he's an avid one. I have to know everything now. I have to know everybody. I have to know every player. I have to know how old they are and what their aggregate scores are, blah, blah, blah. It's horrifying. So technology is not elusive to me. I'm an early adopter of everything, including Uber. And because I have my own car and driver a lot of the time, I have two drivers that I've been using for 20 years, I wasn't in the habit of using Ubers until, all of a sudden, I needed an Uber. And the app was right there. I had no money, no coat. It was freezing cold and I thought, this is a convenience, I'm going to use my Uber app.
Speaking of Uber, what's your favorite of all the new Uber Black features?
Well, I think both the temperature control, because I'm always hot or cold in a car, and also the help with luggage, because I'm always dragging a whole lot of stuff. And taxis don't like to help with luggage, and other drivers get really pissed at you, so to have somebody helpful would be very convenient. And extra leg room, given my long legs.
Do you think Uber has changed dating for the better? So now you can hop in a car whenever you want to escape a bad date?
Yes, definitely. You can surreptitiously use your Uber app and get out of there, disappear. Better than going to the ladies' room where you ultimately have to come out of… I have done that. It's very bad.
Do you have any horror stories you'd like to share?
I'm saving that for my autobiography.
I cannot wait to read it. When it comes to tipping Uber drivers, do you think we should stick to percentage best practices, like 15 to 20 percent of the ride? Or individually tailor it to the experience?
No, I think experience does sort of denote the tip... But there are basics for tips. I just adopted basically 20 percent for all tips, hairdresser, everything, unless they do an extraordinarily great job and then I can give them more. Or, if they do a really, really bad job, or if they’re unpleasant, I might not tip them. And everybody has a bad day and everybody has a problem every now and then, so, again, that has to be taken into consideration.
Do you get annoyed when people are on their phones at your home? Like when you've prepared a dinner and you have to be like, "Hey guys, pay attention to what's going on."
Oh, at my table? That rarely happens. At big dinners, like if you're at a charity dinner, when I'm on a dais for an award ceremony or something, everybody's on their phone under the tablecloth, because they have things to do. But no, at private homes, I think it's rude to whip out your phone and start talking on it.
I completely agree. Would you prefer if people showed you the photos they took at your home before they posted them on social?
I don't care. My life is such an open book. And people take so many pictures that I don't really mind. Unless they post a really ugly picture of me, and then I do mind. But I would never post an ugly picture of anybody, knowingly. So, I try to always edit the photos. I know how to do all that. You want to make things look good.
Steps for fine bonding: 1. Anesthesize 2. Abraded surface to be bonded 3. Etch surface with blue paste 4 . Rinse 5. Apply bonding material 6. Treat with infrared light to harden material 7. Grind with various drill bits to shape and smooth to desired appearance 8. Test bite and adjust with drilling 9 Rinse and be happy - look in mirror Time for this upper front teeth enhancement? Just two hours Thanks Dr Marc Lowenberg @lowenberglituchykantor You are great! Photos by @marthastewart48 @marthastewart makeup by @bydaisybeautytoye
A post shared by Martha Stewart (@marthastewart48) on Apr 26, 2019 at 6:28am PDT
On that note, your Instagram is a work of art. Do you think about what you're going to post for that day, or just let it happen naturally?
I don't plan but I do and see interesting things every day. I live three lives-I live a life on the farm, a life in the city, and I live a life traveling, so something interesting is bound to happen. So I post it, and I try to make it kind of funny and amusing at the same time. My Instagram is a fun thing. I try very hard to limit my time on Instagram, I do not want to become consumed by it, so it's a few minutes a day, but it's effective because it really does get a message across.
We know you're super busy. Where is your favorite place in New York City to grab a quick bite on the go?
Well, I'm not averse to getting a fresh-squeezed orange juice and a hot dog with a lot of sauerkraut and mustard at Papaya King up on 86th Street and 3rd Avenue. You might think that's weird but it's delicious. You can stop your Uber right there and jump out and get it or your driver can get it for you. He can have one too. That's a favorite stop when I didn't have time to eat all day.
But I also like to stop at a place like Via Quadronno at 73rd between Madison and Fifth. It is a delicious café-I just had soup from there for lunch. They make this delicious vegetable puree soup that is so healthy. There's no oil, no butter, no cream. It's just vegetables in a broth that are all finely, finely pureed. And it's so good. I often get that for lunch if I'm in that neighborhood.
And where else do I stop? I stop at Sant Ambroeus down in the West Village. They make delicious little sandwiches. I can run the whole gamut up and down Manhattan. And Russ and Daughters, they make really good bagels with either white fish or the green caviar or you can get the cream cheese and fresh smoked salmon, it's so good.
What's your favorite neighborhood in Manhattan and why?
Well, I love Chelsea where my office is. We're on 26th Street by the Hudson River. And then I go downtown to the Perry Street neighborhood; my daughter and the kids live down there, I go down there a lot. The Meatpacking District is lively and fun, there's good shopping there. I get my socks at the Hanro shop. It's the best shop. Do you know Falke socks? They're real thin, men and women's socks, they're so good. So I get my socks there.
Do you have any traveling essentials you won't leave your home without?
Yes. I can not leave home without at least one iPad, loaded with everything I need; my newspapers, my books. You must not forget your earphones. And I never forget a really, really, good shahtoosh to wrap myself in because it’s perfectly warm but light. And if I’m going to be hungry I take my own food, which is important because airplane food is so nasty now.
On behalf of younger adults who want to expand their entertaining repertoire, but don’t have a ton of kitchen space, what's an essential item they should have?
Well, they should have a good bar at home. It's very important to have the very best gin, vodka, scotch, bourbon, and tequila so you can make really, really good drinks. And with really good drinks, it doesn't matter, you can have a rich cheese and some really good biscuits as a snack. I keep very little in my refrigerator because I'm in and out and not home a lot, but I do have stuff in the freezer that I could put in the oven if I had to, different kinds of little hors d’oeuvres that I make more of. So when I entertain I like a very good drink and maybe crudités or something.
From Instagram we see you with a ton of pets, and I'm so jealous. Do you have any plans on expanding your adorable group?
Well, I have now thirteen peacocks, and there are eight more eggs in the incubators so maybe I'll have twenty peacocks by the end of this month. They all could hatch any day. I have six horses, which is plenty. I have beautiful Friesian Trail Horses, and they're very expensive to keep. And they're like children, they have to be educated, ridden every day, exercised, washed, bathed, and dried, so they take care. And their clothes take a lot care of, you have to oil the saddles and wash their blankets. We have donkeys. We have 200 chickens. We have innumerable geese-I went a little crazy with the geese this year and I must have about fifteen geese and some new baby geese to add to the flock. It's a gaggle.
What else do I have? Dogs, cats... Oh, I have canaries, we just had nine baby canaries. It's coming up to about... getting close to fifty canaries. That's a lot. They all take a tremendous amount of care because you have to keep them clean, and fed, and happy. I don't think I'm going to get too many animals in the near future.
A post shared by Martha Stewart (@marthastewart48) on Apr 4, 2019 at 6:50am PDT
You certainly have a lot on your plate. So, what's the next big trend you're looking to? Do you think rose gold everything is on its way out?
Well, we started with copper, then we went to brass, now we're into rose gold. Maybe simple platinum will be nice. It's softer looking than stainless steel. Less harsh.
Lastly, do you and Snoop have any Memorial Day weekend plans together?
No! But he did show up last summer for a picnic. He wants to come to Maine, that would be really fun to have him up there. And my friends and neighbors up there would love to meet him. We have a big auction and a big gala for Acadia National Park. Maybe Snoop would show up at that it would be so great... I don't know how much hiking he wants to do in Acadia, but that's my favorite activity.
Uber Black is relaunching today with an extended pickup period, premium support, professional drivers with a minimum Uber rating of 4.85, and new vehicle requirements with extra legroom. Plus, premium rider preferences that include settings for silent mode, temperature control, and luggage notification.
Editor's note: This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
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