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In translation: A friendship redefined

Madeline Rhiana Belloff was ready with Red Bull energy drinks, Sour Patch Kids candy and Goldfish crackers, while Daniel Alexander Martinez fortified them with sandwiches from the local deli when they often studied together at Columbia.

“We were both studious and nerdy,” said Ms. Belloff, who likes to say they met “across the Broadway divide,” in 2012 in sophomore – she at Barnard and he at school. Columbia engineers.

They hung out with the same group of fraternity and sorority friends, and two or three times a week a group of them would drop to 10/20, a local college bar, during their bartending shift, usually the idea. by M. Martinez.

“She was very adventurous and silly,” Mr. Martinez said.

Ms. Belloff, 28, is now a communications strategist with Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, a public relations firm, and Mr. Martinez, 27, a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, both in New York City.

During her spring 2014 semester abroad in Cape Town, she broke up with her boyfriend. Mr Martinez, who consulted her daily, usually on WhatsApp, heard about her human rights classes on the African experience and her bungee jumping and skydiving adventures.

“When I came back I realized how close we were,” she said. “We had such a great summer. ”

In August, Mr Martinez helped his father carry his furniture up four flights of stairs when she moved into a two-bedroom apartment on West 79th Street.

“I convinced him to stay with me,” said Ms. Belloff, who was without internet, cable and air conditioning, and wanted company while her roommate was away. “Something has changed about the friendship.”

But they resisted the labeling of the Romantic Turn, and she only told her roommate about it. A friend got it when he noticed Mr Martinez was listening to rapper Talib Kweli, a favorite of Ms Belloff.

“Maddy introduced me to a lot of ’90s East Coast rap,” said Martinez, who grew up in Upland, Calif., And still has the original playlist she inspired.

In October 2014, he secretly took her on their first date to Pisticci, a restaurant close to the school, and around Christmas she joined him as “friends” on a trip to France. family in Cartagena, Colombia. He introduced her as “mi amiga”, my friend, to her confused parents, who saw something more. (Her father died in 2018.)

“I’ve always loved it,” Ms. Belloff said. “It was easy. Putting on a label was a challenge.

On their last night in Cartagena, he asked, “Could you be my girlfriend?

At Christmas, at his parents’ house in Bogotá (they also lived in California), he introduced her to relatives like “mi novia”, my girlfriend. It’s no surprise when they slowly shared the news at school and then got more serious after graduation.

In July 2018, he moved into his studio in Battery Park City, while traveling extensively as a technology consultant. A year later, he decided to attend the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he recently obtained an MBA.

“One of us is going to graduate and one of us deserves a diamond,” she told him unequivocally before their long-distance relationship began.

In July 2019, he proposed to Wagner Park on a rainy morning near their apartment, and they quickly put together a list of 120 guests for a destination wedding in Cartagena.

In March 2020, Ms Belloff, who bears the groom’s name, had planned to meet with Mr Martinez, visiting friends in Buenos Aires, Cartagena to check on the premises. But, once the pandemic hit, he had to return home and they put their plans on hold.

On May 29, a rainy and cold day for the season, Audrey E. Belloff, Minister of Universal Life, and the older sister of the bride, officiated at their parents’ home in Mahopac, NY, in front of 29 vaccinated guests. The father of the bride walked her down the aisle and Milo, the couple’s 10-month-old Australian Shepherd, was the ring bearer.

“What if it was 40 degrees and my hair was frizzy,” she said. “I was in the comfort of friends and family.”

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