After years - years - of dithering, I signed up for Fancy Hands sometime around midnight on the Tuesday of a week during which my calendar, my inbox and my immune system all seemed to be conspiring against me.
It was similar to the situation that prompted me to sign up for Task Rabbit last year: three months of being silently mocked by the bag of clothes I'd earmarked for charity and which I failed, every single day, to deliver to Goodwill.
I quipped then that as I've gotten older, I've become more willing to exchange money for time. This continues to be true.
In the 19 hours or so since I coughed up for their basic service, the virtual assistants at Fancy Hands have:
scheduled five meetings for me (which involved creating calendar invitations and sending them to all participants - this service is free with their subscriptions)
sorted out a fairly involved but entirely solvable with a lot of Googling type-query that I've been putting off for not quite three months, but close. This is what I emailed my 'virtual assistant', whom I've dubbed (at least for the purposes of my address book) Patrick G Jeeves, to figure out "restaurants eligible for DiningDough.com AND Either 3.5+ (preferable 4) stars or higher on Yelp OR higher than a 7.5 Explorer rating on FourSquare." I also asked that the list include the Yelp and/or 4SQ link.
90 minutes later, "Ana R." replied with this list:
-Walkers Restaurant 4 out 5 starts out of 161 reviews http://fncy.it/YJTYGp (yelp.com) Categories: American (New), American (Traditional) 16 N Moore St (between Hudson St & Varick St) New York, NY 10013 Neighborhood: TriBeCa (212) 941-0142 http://fncy.it/1611f24 (walkersnyc.com)
-Ecco 4 out 5 stars out of 42 reviews http://fncy.it/1611f25 (yelp.com) Category: Italian 124 Chambers St (between Church St & Broadway) New York, NY 10007 Neighborhood: TriBeCa (212) 227-7074 http://fncy.it/1611han (eccorestaurantny.com)
-Le Pescadeux 4 out 5 stars out of 111 review http://fncy.it/1611hqA (yelp.com) Categories: Seafood, French 90 Thompson St (between Spring St & Prince St) New York, NY 10012
-Giorgio's of Gramercy 4 out 5 stars out of 306 reviews http://fncy.it/1611hqC (yelp.com) Categories: Italian, American (New) 27 E 21st St New York, NY 10011 Neighborhood: Flatiron (212) 477-0007 http://fncy.it/YJTYGv (giorgiosofgramercy.com)
-Kellari Taverna 3.5 out 5 stars out of 180 reviews http://fncy.it/1611f2d (yelp.com) Categories: Greek, Mediterranean, Seafood 19 W 44th St (between Avenue Of The Americas & 5th Ave) New York, NY 10036 Neighborhood: Midtown West (212) 221-0144 http://fncy.it/YJTYGw (kellariny.com)
-L'YBane 3.5 out 5 stars out of 90 reviews http://fncy.it/YJTVuh (yelp.com) Categories: Mediterranean, French, Wine Bars 709 8th Ave (between 44th St & 45th St) New York, NY 10036 Neighborhoods: Hell's Kitchen, Midtown West, Theater District (212) 582-2012 http://fncy.it/1611hXE (lybane.com)
-Acappella 4 out 5 stars out of 63 reviews http://fncy.it/YJTYGE (yelp.com) Category: Italian 1 Hudson St New York, NY 10013 Neighborhood: TriBeCa (212) 240-0163 http://fncy.it/YJTYGF (acappella-restaurant.com)
-Blue Planet Grill 3.5 out 5 stars out of 99 reviews http://fncy.it/YJTVuj (yelp.com) Categories: American (Traditional), Bars 120 Greenwich St (between Albany St & Carlisle St) New York, NY 10006 Neighborhood: Financial District (212) 571-1700 http://fncy.it/YJTVuk (blueplanetgrillnyc.com)
-India Place 4 out 5 stars out of 84 reviews http://fncy.it/YJTYWU (yelp.com) Categories: Indian, Vegetarian 655 Vanderbilt Ave (between Prospect Pl & Sterling Pl) Brooklyn, NY 11238 Neighborhood: Prospect Heights (718) 398-7776
-Ethos Gallery 51 4 out 5 stars out of 85 reviews http://fncy.it/YJTYWV (yelp.com) Category: Greek 905 1st Ave (between 50th St & 51st St) New York, NY 10022 Neighborhood: Midtown East (212) 888-4060 http://fncy.it/1611hqT (ethosrestaurants.com)
-Benito One The Original 4 out 5 stars out of 55 reviews http://fncy.it/YJTVuo (yelp.com) Category: Italian 174 Mulberry St (between Broome St & Grand St) New York, NY 10013 Neighborhood: Little Italy (212) 226-9171 http://fncy.it/YJTVuq (benitoone.com)
-Cafe Espanol 3.5 out 5 stars out of 105 reviews http://fncy.it/1611hHc (yelp.com) Categories: Spanish, Basque 78 Carmine St (between S 7th Ave & Bleecker St) New York, NY 10014 Neighborhood: West Village (212) 675-3312 http://fncy.it/1611hXR (ordercafeespanol.com)
-Cercle Rouge 3.5 out 5 stars out of 113 reviews http://fncy.it/YJTVuu (yelp.com) Categories: French, American (Traditional) 241 W Broadway (between Beach St & Moore St) New York, NY 10013 Neighborhood: TriBeCa (212) 226-6252 http://fncy.it/YJTYXa (cerclerougeresto.com)
Brilliant. Next step, reservations.