Chinese New Year 2015: Popular Chinatown Tasks

Chinatowns across the nation are celebrating a lunar new year marked by some confusion over who is this year’s honored animal.

An analysis of Tasking data over the last year offers little evidence of whether the sheep or goat is the winner. Instead, Chinese New Year this year will be marked by Taskers helping nearby residents grabbing a slice of far-east culture through Tasks.

In particular, “Personal Assistance” Tasks were the most common Chinatown assignments booked on the platform in NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, LA and Washington D.C., beating the second most common task of Moving Help; apparently there are a lot of people moving into Chinatowns across the nation.
Here’s a look at each Chinatown’s standout Personal Assistance tasks.
San Francisco
  • Deliver 14 egg custards from Golden Gate Bakery
  • Pick up 75 Bubble Teas from Ten Ren’s Teathumb_600
New York:
  • Locate and purchase a tangerine tree.
  • Purchase green tea rice balls and dumplings from Lucky King Bakery
Los Angeles
  • Pick up an order Slippery Shrimp from Yang Chow
D.C.
  • Purchase and deliver 50 lucky red envelopes.
Chicago
  • Pick up and deliver 5 dragon kites and fire crackers from any Chinatown shop
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TASK OF THE WEEK: VALENTINE’S DAY ROUND-UP

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Love was in the air this weekend, and we were busy helping Cupid work his magic. We saw lots of requests for flower deliveries and waiting in line for popular restaurants (as predicted). We also noticed some other creative ways you outsourced help for the special day:

  • Knowing that first dates on Valentine’s Day can be awkward, one Client asked a Tasker to come up with a list of ideas for low-key and fun activities that would enable the couple to get to know each other, resulting in a trip to the Long Beach Aquarium.
  • A Tasker in LA snapped photos of a surprise V-Day picnic to document the reaction and the happy couple.
  • A San Francisco-based Client hired a Tasker to deliver a surprise to her fiancé every five minutes over the course of an hour.
  • A Tasker with great penmanship was asked to handwrite dozens of Valentine’s cards in New York.

Need help tackling your to-do list for less romantic tasks? We can help with that, too.

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President’s Day Spotlight: How the Nation’s Capital Likes to Task

President’s Day is a chance to honor our nation’s commanders-in-chief and hopefully to get a few things done around the house at the same time. So, how does our nation’s capital like to Task on this holiday?

Here’s a quick look at how area residents like to lean on Taskers for help.

Top 3 Tasks

  1. Moving Help
  2. Delivery
  3. Minor Home Repairs (IKEA Furniture Assembly)

Fun and Useful Tasks

  • Wait in line for reservations at Rose’s Luxury, where wait times can reach 3 hours
  • 1000 Crickets delivered for an office frog
  • Engagement Surprise: Tasker decorated apartment with 100 LED candles, hundreds of rose petals.

Tasker Force

There are more than 900 Taskers in the DC area, specializing in home repair, moving help, cleaning and personal assistance.

Tasker Spotlight: Janet K.

Janet calls herself DC’s “Mom-for-hire, but without the guilt.” She says she spent years cleaning, organizing and repairing things for her kids, but now that they’ve left the nest, she’s getting paid for her expertise. Janet helps busy area residents make their lives less complicated with Tasking help, including personal shopping assistance for which she was recently profiled on WJLA-TV.

Outsource Your Wait In Line… Since 1850s Gold Rush Era

Paying for someone to wait in line is not a new phenomenon. While reading about Gold Rush San Francisco circa 1850s, we discovered that people would wait in line for many hours to receive their letters and mail once the bi-monthly steamers came up from Panama. Once the ship was in port, people crowded outside the post office hours before it opened, blocking the two streets that led to the building. The men would smoke, chew tobacco, and read books and newspapers while they waited. Some enterprising souls sold their spot in line for ten or fifteen dollars (over $500 in today’s money), not expecting any letters of their own.

A man’s place in the line was his individual property, more or less valuable according to his distance from the window, and, like any other piece of property, it was bought and sold, and converted into cash. Those who had plenty of dollars to spare, but could not afford much time, could buy out someone who had already spent several hours in keeping his place. Ten or fifteen dollars were frequently paid for a good position, and some men went there early, and waited patiently, without any expectation of getting letters, but for the chance of turning their acquired advantage into cash.

(From Three Years in California by J. D. Borthwick, published 1857)

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Post Office, Building, San Francisco
Image published by LELAND & McCOMBE. Engraved expressly for the Publishers by Anthony & Baker. [1854] Courtesy of sfmuseum.org

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Looking Back at #WinterStormJuno: Boston or Bust

On the heels of yet another storm bearing down on the Northeast, remember when Winter Storm Juno never delivered its promised punch to New York City, but poor Boston got more than its fair share? New Tasking data reveals just how bad the two towns got it.

Boston (population: 640,000) logged nearly twice as many winter-related tasks as New York City (population: 8.4 million) during the final week of January. Boston Taskers logged 612 winter-related tasks compared to New York’s 368 tasks. Taskers in both cities were most likely to shovel cold white stuff the day or two following a band of snowfall. Other popular tasks included spreading snow salt the night before and delivering warm food once the worst of the storm passed.

Juno was the biggest snowstorm to hit Boston in a generation — and one of the first to have such a skilled team of on-demand Taskers following behind it.

TASK OF THE WEEK: SAVE ME A SPOT AT THE VICTORY PARADE

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Photo credit: @RLubb

Several of you used TaskRabbit to help prepare for Super Bowl parties (or clean up afterwards), but our favorite task last week was one savvy Client who wanted to save a spot along the Patriots’ victory parade route in Boston (our old stomping grounds!). The Tasker is a Patriots’ fan who was planning to check out the parade anyway, and she got paid for holding a spot for the Client. The Tasker bundled up and arrived a few hours early to hunker down at the corner of Boylston and Tremont streets, happily giving up one of her spots to the Client when he arrived, hot chocolates in hand. Let us know if we can help you save time in any way.