Life

My name is Antoni (NOT Anton, Anthony, Antony, or Antonio). It’s a common name in Catalonia and Poland. I’m from Barcelona and I used to live there before I relocated to Chicago in 2016. Previously, I’ve been a resident of Galicia and Aragon (Spain), and Cork (Ireland). According to my parents (of blessed memory), the surname Maroto originated in the Balearic island of Mallorca.

Aside from being mostly a Mediterranean person—Iberian, Italian, Balkan, Northern African origins—my ancestry includes Jewish roots. Although having Jewish DNA doesn’t automatically make a person a Jew, I happen to be one whose Hebrew name is אָמוֹץ חַיים (Amotz Chaim). I share the same paternal line with Albert Einstein, which may have originated in the region around or near Egypt. By contrast, my maternal line seems to have ancient roots in areas of present-day Poland.

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Antoni Maroto

English is the language that I use everyday in and out of the house. Catalan is the language that I mostly identify with. Spanish is the language that my family speaks. These three languages are the ones that I work with as a language professional. Hebrew is my heritage language and I’m currently working on mastering it. In addition, I’ve studied French, Galician, German and Russian.

Aside from foreign languages and communication, I love traveling. I’ve had the chance to experience several countries: Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Mexico, Israel, etc. I’m always willing to visit new places. My wishlist includes: Antarctica, Canada, Egypt, Jordan, Japan, India, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Greece and Switzerland.

Another passion of mine is music. From 2003 to 2010, I was involved in several underground projects (including Go Ape and Vertigen) in which I either did vocals and/or played guitar. My band Conde Orlok was featured in the book Music To Die For (Mercer, Mick; London: Cherry Red Books, 2009). I still create music in private.

When I was 13, I discovered a band that would change my life forever. Ever since, the Smashing Pumpkins have been my #1 choice. My music playlist also includes several other artists, such as:

Kelli Ali, Tori Amos, Björk, David Bowie, Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins, The Cramps, The Cure, Curve, Dead Can Dance, Gitane Demone, Depeche Mode, Bridget Everett, Fangoria, Diamanda Galás, Katie Jane Garside, Michael Gira, Lisa Hammer, Ofra Haza, Jade4U, Jarboe, Peggy Lee, Annie Lennox, La Lupe, Lydia Lunch, George Michael, Roísín Murphy, My Bloody Valentine, Portishead, Praga Khan, Prince, Ride, Siouxsie Sioux, Slowdive, Sopa de Cabra, SOW, Tahúres Zurdos, Tairrie B, Theatre of Tragedy, Tricky, Type O Negative, Vaadat Charigim, Rob Zombie, etc.

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I like to watch movies. My YouTube subscriptions include Mayim Bialik and YidLife Crisis. I’m a big fan of these showsAb Fab, Arrested Development, Chewing Gum, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dangerous Women, Golden Girls, Grace & Frankie, Gran Hotel, Insecure, Keeping Up Appearances, Motivos Personales, Portlandia, Schitt’s Creek, She’s Gotta Have It, Sensitive Skin, Sordid Lives, Strangers with Candy and Transparent.

Before I started this website, I used to write a blog called Toni Sees the World, which mirrored my reflections on life and showcased part of my work. Some of the topics I covered were: history, music, psychology and science. I wrote extensively about being a vegetarian and quitting smoking.

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!תל אביב יא חביבי תל אביב

I became a vegetarian in 2007. My main motive is compassion for animals; I’m also an avid bird watcher and former pet sitter. My favorite restaurants in the Chicagoland area are: Vegetarian Express, Native Foods, Chicago Diner, Lou Malnati’s and Blind Faith Cafe. But I believe no city beats Tel Aviv when it comes to the greatest number of yummy veggie options. I love Italian, Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisines most of all.

After over a decade of smoking, I quit tobacco in 2014. I believe that the key to remain smoke-free is to give up the control fantasy, because smoking is addictive. You can never conquer addiction, as it can only take you deeper into it. Unless, of course, you choose to cut it completely off: that’s when you are in control and succeed. Why would I want to surrender my power to a carcinogenic substance that smells awful?

Love brought me to America in 2016. After living in the Chicago areas of Lakeview and the Loop, I’m currently based in Evanston with my husband Edgar Amaya, who wrote the biography of harpist Stella Castelluci Diving Deep for Sea Shells. Until March 2018, we had a cat named Buster (of blessed memory), which came via a mutual friend (and matchmaker): artist Lydia Lunch.

When I’m not working, I like to walk, bike (Divvy user), skate and attend events, such as concerts and stand-up shows. I enjoy comedians like: Tiffany Haddish, Fred Armisen, Luenell, Fortune Feimster, Gilbert Gottfried, Joan Rivers, Sarah Silverman, Larry David, Sommore, Maria Bamford, Moshe Kasher, and Tig Notaro.

Additionally, I love to read. Although I find the digital format to be comfortable and to save a lot of space, I still prefer paper. Some of the topics I like to check are the weather, snow and ice extenttime zones and astronomy.

I’m a big fan of meteorology! At first, I thought I could never find anything better than the Mediterranean climate of Catalonia: six months of warm summer, barely any winter time, right amount of rain. But I’ve eventually grown fond of the four-season, temperate climate of the U.S. Midwest: quasi-tropical summers, almost arctic winters, and the transitional, yet unpredictable months of spring and autumn.

If you want to contact me, you can email me. You won’t find me on social media, except on LinkedIn. If you want to keep up with my content, please enter your email below and and click subscribe.


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