Q+A: GET TO KNOW ANI

Q: Where'd you grow up?

A: Annapolis, Maryland, thanks to which I love everything that involves the water in any way.

Q: What do you do outside of work?

A: My job is pretty stationary, so I like to be active and do physical stuff. Tennis, surfing, dance classes and boxing are my favorites. And walking in Prospect Park, when I can.

Q: If you weren't a mediator, what would you be? 

A: A naturopathic doctor, maybe? I find that field, and alternative approaches to medicine in general, so fascinating. I love design, too, both graphic and interior, but can't boast any talent there. Just appreciation! Especially graphic design with a sense of humor.

Q: Favorite city?

A: After Brooklyn, I'd have to say Cairo. It has a special place in my heart, especially Doqqi, Midan El-Falaki (shout-out to Cafe Horreya), and the southern end of Garden City. I love Madrid, too, especially Lavapi├ęs.

Q: Favorite escape from the city? 

A: Annisquam, Massachusetts. Pasture Beach, above all.

Q: Favorite subject in school? 

A: Surprisingly, math. I've always loved the order of working with numbers. If I went back to school now, it'd be language classes, for sure.

Q: Favorite type of music? 

A: Always changing. Last year, it was more traditional Americana-type music. This year, reggaeton(?!).

Q: Favorite music/event venues? 

A: JalopyFriends and Lovers, Pioneer Works. BAM. And wherever these folks are performing.

Q: Favorite art/artists?

A: Well, I'm biased, but my one aunt is my favorite gallery owner, my other aunt is my favorite artist, and my third aunt is my favorite textile artisan. They're all so talented! After them, I love Nell Campbell, Youngsuk Suh, Neeta MadaharEsther Pullman's triptychs and Jacob Hessler. And everyone who's ever performed at Dance Africa.

Q: Favorite restaurants in NYC? 

A: Farm on Adderly, Petite Crevette, Speedy Romeo, La Esquina Taqueria.

Q: Favorite Instagram/YouTube video?

A: Also always changing, but either this or this is probably my favorite right now. Or this or this. (I could keep going.) Close second would be any of Anthony Joshua's training videos. So inspiring.

Q: Random fact about you?

A: I love listening to podcasts on 2x speed.

Q: Married? 

A: Divorced. We didn't mediate, but we did settle out of court. It gave me a lot of empathy for how inexplicably interminable the process can feel (even to a divorce lawyer) when you're going through it. But it does end, and it does get better, I promise!

Q: Favorite part of your work? 

A: My clients, hands-down. I've been so lucky in that department. Most of the time, my work feels like I'm helping a friend go through their divorce. Distant second would be seeing people make their way through something challenging, regroup and then thrive. Especially when they're able to (mostly, not perfectly) stay true to their values in the process. That never ceases to inspire me.