A Brazilian and Russian Love Story That Began in Brooklyn – The New York Times

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Maxwell Da Silva, who is from Brazil, and Jane Satsuk, who is from Russia, immediately connected over their “very humble beginnings.” But it was Mr. Da Silva’s cooking that won her heart.

It was Sept. 1, 2020, and Maxwell Dayvson Da Silva and Evgenia Satsuk were wearing masks during their first date at Leuca, an Italian restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He freaked her out just a bit when he asked her to lower her mask and kissed her.

“All right, now I’m going to die,” she recalled thinking. “He probably kisses every woman during the pandemic.” He had actually quarantined in his apartment for 90 days because he had been terrified of going out during the Covid-19 pandemic. But at the time, she didn’t know that.

The kiss didn’t scare her away, though, because of their animated conversation over dinner and drinks. They had met on the dating app Tinder a week before, and they connected about life in New York and life in their homelands. Mr. Da Silva is from Recife, Brazil, and Ms. Satsuk from Khabarovsk, Russia.

Mr. Da Silva, 40, was born and raised in a favela, a working-class neighborhood. At 14, he taught himself how to code, and when he was 15, he started working as a software engineer at a media company. In 2012, he got a job offer as a software engineer at The New York Times and moved to Brooklyn. “It’s honestly a miracle,” said Mr. Da Silva, as he reflected on his childhood days carrying buckets of water to his home, which didn’t have running water most days.

Ms. Satsuk, 38, grew up in a housing project in Eastern Russia. She graduated from Khabarovsk State University of Economics and Law with a bachelor’s degree in international business and became an account manager at a retail company. She moved to Brooklyn in 2011.

“Even though we were separated by oceans and different continents,” Mr. Da Silva said, “we had a very similar story growing up with very humble beginnings.”

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