Tarek Anandan is the founder of Attic DC, a newly launched online platform that connects vintage, antique, and used furniture lovers with 35+ small businesses in the DMV. Find out what’s kept him in the District for over a dozen years:
What’s a typical day for you?
As a freelance website development consultant, I like to think that no day is typical. My job affords me a lot of flexibility in terms of when and where I work. I take advantage of that by traveling and working remotely whenever possible. But ultimately, wherever I may be, I’m typically juggling my client work — which ranges from 5-10 active projects at a time — along with my personal projects. My latest personal project, that fills in nearly every open minute is ATTIC and is meant to support used and vintage furniture stores in the DC area.
What or who is your biggest influence?
I honestly try not to be too influenced by anyone person, group, or company. Rather, I take interest in a wide range of people and projects and then try to abstract away what is different, important, and interesting about each one.
What neighborhood do you live in?
My wife and I live on the upper edge of Columbia Heights, but we just as often call it Petworth since that Metro station is a bit closer. In my 15 years in DC, I’ve also lived in Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, and Mt
What is your biggest DC pet peeve?
I used to have two big pet peeves about DC. First, that the city is “transient” and that friends wouldn’t stick around. Second, that bands I really liked seemed to skip DC. Both of these have largely resolved themselves over time. My friends that are here now seem to be in it for the long haul (plus all those people that moved now give us another possible travel destination). And as for the bands, DC’s stock on the touring scene has clearly risen over the past 15 years.
Favorite music artist of all time?
Favorite DC haunt?
I like dive bars, so the Raven and the Red Derby are pretty high up there. I also try not to go too long without visiting the Hirshhorn, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Building Museum.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?
Visiting cool furniture stores with my wife, Valentine. We particularly like vintage, antique, and used furniture stores. That is what we did when we first started dating and why I eventually decided to build ATTIC. We were finding less and less time to take those “dates”, so ATTIC was a way for us to do it virtually. It’s not a substitute for the real thing though.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The countryside of France, near the mountains, would do quite well so long as I have wi-fi!
If you’re really letting me dream here, I’d say a philanthropist. I love the idea of being able to support important social and community projects and provide resources that can lead to noticeable change. (The
hard part of course entails making a small fortune first!)
Top three favorite movies?
Rushmore, Memento, Let the Right One In (Swedish version).
Name five people, alive or dead, you’d love to invite to a dinner party
I really like to laugh: Chris Rock, Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Louis CK … and maybe Sigmund Freud to mix it up.
What was your major in college, and do you use it today?
Economics. Everyday. It greatly influenced how I view the world and humanity at all levels. It gives me a framework for making decisions — yes it’s about pros and cons and benefits and costs, but it’s not always about money.
Name one thing most people don’t know about you.
That my first job, at about 14 years old, was cleaning the ice arena in my hometown (Royal Oak, MI). That included the unenviable task of cleaning the public restrooms and locker rooms. Fortunately, I worked my way up to be a Zamboni driver and will know forever what hard work is all about.