I first met Petworth resident Tarek Anandan at Domku during the summer of 2015 just after I launched the Petworth News website. We’re both web professionals who can’t help tinkering with things that interest us, and we took a quick liking to each other. Tarek is indeed a tinkerer — beyond building websites for a career, he and his wife Valentine are passionate for little consignment shops, antiques and fixing up old and interesting furniture.
They both enjoy shopping for odd, vintage furniture, but finding places to visit was a challenge. They wished there was a way to find antique shops in the D.C. area, and see what new products they had available. So Tarek and a friend, Francisco Serrano, made one: ATTIC DC, a website that promotes local, independently owned antique and fashion retail here in Petworth and around the city.
Writing about people like Tarek is one of the things I like best about Petworth News: profiling a resident who is following his heart, doing something exceptional and someone you might otherwise not have realized lived a few doors down from you. In fact, The Post wrote about the launch of ATTIC DC this summer, and the D.C. chapter of the Awesome Foundation selected ATTIC as its July 2015 micro-grant winner. It’s because he’s following his passion and doing great work.
Originally from the Detroit area, Tarek has been bouncing between Michigan and the District for most of his adult life. He moved to the District in 1999 to work at a think tank (how very D.C.), and left to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan. He quickly returned after he received his degree.
His wife, Valentine, is a “Californian via France,” and is now a linguist at the University of Maryland. (They met in the District and were married here three years ago.) They bought a house in Petworth a few years ago and fell firmly in love with the area.
“We landed in Petworth after shopping around all over the city for nearly a year,” Tarek said when I asked him why they chose Petworth. “What appealed to us most about the area were the developing strips that promote foot traffic and greater density like Upshur, Georgia Ave and 14th Street. I’d love to see even more retail options, on top of the already existing places. There’s Willow, DC Treasure, Bentley’s, Fia’s and Upshur Street Books in Petworth proper. And towards Park View, there’s Mom N Pop Antiques. The maker/education space Lemon Bowl, and the used bookstore Walls of Books are nice additions, too.”
Drew Schneider is a Petworth resident who blogs at PetworthNews.org. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.