NYPRESS: How did you first become aware of this whole story?
JULIA ALLISON: Well, Patrick, he works for my boyfriend. Jakob is the founder of Vimeo, which is under the Connected Ventures rubric. And Jakob is the founder of Connected Ventures and the founder of Vimeo and hired Patrick, I don’t know how long ago. But Patrick’s quite young. And so—I think he had sent me, actually Jakob was the first person to blog about it because Patrick had sent the link to the website that he had created [to] Jakob, and then Jakob was the one who filmed Patrick talking about it. And talking…what had happened on the subway because from the website, from the initial illustration that he made, you thought to yourself, or at least I thought to myself, “Well, why didn’t you, you know, just go up and talk to her?”
Yeah, why didn’t he? Well, I’ll ask him that.
JA: Oh, well there’s actually a video that shows. I mean, he talks about why he didn’t. He was trying to get up the nerve. Patrick is a very shy guy, and that’s why this is so adorable, because he [is] just the last person that you’d think would ever go out on a limb like this. And that’s why it’s so inspiring and so sweet and, you know, really a great example. I have to say, I don’t usually say cheesy things like “he’s a good role model”—but he is. He really is. And that’s why I supported it from the very beginning. And I blogged about it, and then I sent out—I was so enthusiastic about the story that I sent out an email to 25 of the producers that I work with, and said, “You guys should cover this story.” But it was already taking off on its own at that point. I’m actually gonna send you—here, I’ll send it to you right now. I love technology. I’m gonna send you the link to the video. And you should watch it before you talk to Patrick. So yeah, I mean, that’s how, that’s how I ended up—so I was like, I was right on the, on the cutting edge of the Patrick Moberg story (laughs).
When you say “role model” do you mean to guys or do you mean—
JA: Well, you know—to both.
Or let me rephrase that—from the single woman’s perspective?
JA: Well yes—but also in the larger context. I think Patrick is certainly a role model for men. But he’s also a role model for the way that both genders should behave in the world of dating. And by that I mean, they should take chances! I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve had girl friends or guy friends tell me that they saw someone they found intriguing and they didn’t do anything about it. And think of the joy that they’ve missed out on. Patrick and Camille have spent every day together since—basically since they met.
JA: Yeah. It’s incredibly inspiring. And I am the kind of person [to] take risks like that. I’ve given my card to doormen to hand to the cute guy. I’ve given my card to maitre’d’s to [hand] to guys I’ve seen at tables. And I’m not even the kind of girl who—I tend to be very traditional in the sense that I think that guys should ask me out. But I also—frequently what women do in New York is, they wear sunglasses, they wear iPods, they frown, they look at the ground, they walk quickly—I mean, it makes it really difficult for men to approach them. Just something as simple as smiling to a guy on the street will make all the difference for—for a man to, just to say hello to you is huge. I mean, it’s a huge step in the right direction. [To] do what Patrick did is downright heroic, in my opinion.
Do you think it was just a coincidence? I mean, could this have been any person or just the one person he was intrigued with?
JA: No, I mean…no, I think the reason everyone was talking about it in Jakob’s office the week after wasn’t because of the press, it was because it was so extraordinary. One person said to me, “God, this is the most I’ve heard Patrick talk about anything in the last six months.”
Because he’s so quiet, even among his own co-workers?
JA: Yeah—oh, he’s very quiet, very quiet. He’s very shy. He’s a web guy. They’re not known for their loquaciousness. To be honest though, do I believe in love at first sight? You know, I believe you can have a connection at first sight. I believe that—I tend to think of dating the way I think of photographs. If you take 20 photographs you’re gonna get one or two you really like. So the odds are not necessarily on someone’s side for any given subway rendezvous. But, that having been said, let’s say you take 20 chances and you get one that works out. It doesn’t really matter about the 19 that didn’t. And that’s why this is so great. Yes, this one happened to work out. The odds were not necessarily on his side. I mean for Christ’s sake, she doesn’t have a boyfriend—what are the odds of that? You know, I don’t even remember the last time I didn’t have a boyfriend.
That having been said…I mean, she says she didn’t even remember seeing him, which is hysterical in my opinion. What is there to lose? People are always so concerned about being rejected that they miss out on incredible opportunities. And I happen to be a ridiculously optimistic person, but I think the number one problem with dating in New York as I see it, is this depressimistic…it’s this depressimistic attitude, and I do mean depressimistic: It’s like this combination of depressed and pessimistic. People are bitter, they’re angry, they’re depressed and their pessimistic. And it’s really sad because it’s—it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Have I ever [inaudible]? Abso-fucking-lutely. But does that mean that I’m gonna go out every day and think, you know, “This city is full of schmucks?” No. There are Patrick Mobergs in this city and they just need to come out of their shells.
I think that that’s why this story is, is so—a lot of people said, “It’s a publicity stunt”—no, it wasn’t, it really wasn’t. I encouraged Patrick to go on “Good Morning America” and to go on various shows because I said “if just one”—like, I hate to be all cliché—but if just one guy looks at this, or one girl—‘cause it really doesn’t matter what gender—watches your story and says: “Next time I see someone that I find intriguing then I’m going to make a point [to] make that connection,” it will be worth it.
When you said “the producers” you “work with” regarding contacting people about Patrick’s story is that who you meant—television producers and stuff like that?
JA: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Because you know, I mean I don’t, you, um that’s, my like, my primary job.
Did you connect him to the studio people who expressed interest in a movie?
JA:Yeah, well, you know, he’s gotten a lot of offers on his own. I set him up with my agent. As you well know, the press is frequently like toddlers with a shiny object. You know, they all crowd around, and they lose interest after a couple minutes. But for those first couple minutes, you know, everyone glommed on. I sent out the email early in the week…[to] some of the…producers that I work with. And then I got some independent calls and I forwarded them all to him, and I encouraged him to do…basically everything.
Have the three of you hung out together at all?
JA: No I’ve never met her. No, no no. Definitely not.
Do you think I could possibly speak to Patrick?
JA: Yeah. Yeah. Hold on, lemme—
Is there anything you want to add by the way?
JA: Um, well I mean I just think, I don’t, I don’t know, I mean, I don’t know what, what is your angle on the, on the story?
Well, there’s more than one. Part of it is just the whole idea of meeting people randomly. It’s just always something that’s interesting to readers.
JA: Well it’s really romantic, I think.
JA: More than anything else, this is a true, New York romance. You have these quintessential, New York, romantic moments. You know, in, I guess it’s Sleepless in Seattle, they meet at the top, it always seems to involve the Empire State Building. Well this is a true, modern, New York romance: It involves the subway; it’s two New Yorkers, young New Yorkers; and it involves the Internet. And so I think, I mean I think it could be, if…you know how rare it is for movies to actually get made, but if they did make a movie about it, I bet it would be incredibly successful and it might define, it might be one of those, I mean, I don’t know, I could see it as a quintessential, New York romance. And that’s amazing! That’s so exciting! You know? Things like this don’t happen every day. They should, but they don’t. That’s why I told Patrick to just go for it. Because, you know, it’s not something that you can necessarily repeat. It’s totally unique. I think it’s positive. I see it in a really positive view.
But once the buzz dies down do you think it’ll last?
JA: Oh, I don’t know, but I think the fact that they’re spending every day together, I don’t think you would necessarily do that just for the press. I mean he’s not doing it for the press anyway.
Hold on, let me get Patrick.
PATRICK MOBERG: Hello?
NYP: Hey, is this Patrick?
So do you have a few minutes to talk?
PM: Yeah, yeah. Totally.
Can you describe your meeting Camille and why it was her rather than any number of attractive women who might’ve been on the train?
PM: That’s true. Yeah, I mean I absolutely see hundreds of pretty girls every, every day on the subway. I don’t know—the way, just her physical presence and the way she carried herself and, like, as weird as it sounds to say, like, there was just like, like an unnatural towards her that I really couldn’t ignore and just felt like even if it wasn’t a relationship necessarily, I had to get in touch with her and just find out who this person was.
NYP: Actually, that’s something I wanted to ask you about as well. Because, although I know she moved to New York after graduation and is an intern at BlackBook, I couldn’t find any other information about her. Can you tell me about how her apartment burned down?
PM: She was living in a loft in Chinatown on Halloween, I believe it was, there was a fire that, it didn’t completely burn the building down, it was just kind of on her floor, but left her kind of homeless. So she started staying with a friend down in—kind of near Park Slope, I think. So that’s like the only reason she was on that train.
That’s where she is (living) now? Park Slope?
And you live in Brooklyn too, right?
PM: Yup. Brooklyn Heights.
And you’re a web designer.
And when did you come to the city?
PM: Beginning of June, of the summer.
And you’re originally from Tennessee, is it?
How do you feel about all this media attention and everything that it’s stirred up?
PM: Yeah, it’s interesting. I definitely, didn’t have any of this in mind when I made the site. Truly the only reason was to kinda find this person, just get in touch with her. So this has kind of all been after the fact and I’m just trying to keep a level head about everything and handle it as best I can. Yeah. It’s a little overwhelming sometimes but, I don’t know.
Do you ever worry about what it’ll be like when all the kind of headiness dies down?
PM: As far as the relationship goes?
PM: Yeah. That’s definitely something we’ve both thought about and talked to one another about. Yeah, it’s a very valid concern. I think we’ll just have to kind of see how everything works out. Yeah.
OK, what about people outside of work? How have your friends responded to all this?
PM: They think it’s all pretty interesting.
Did it turn out that you and Camille had a lot in common after the initial connection?
PM: Yeah, absolutely. We’re both very like creative people. And, there’s definitely like a, a, a chemistry there that, that, we just clicked and—no matter what happens I’m sure we’ll definitely be friends.
Can you tell me about the talks for a screenplay?
PM: I’ve been advised not to say too much. I’m still, we’re both trying to decide what we want to do with it. I think the details are supposed to be kept secret for now. Yeah, I mean it was a tough decision because, like I said, I definitely didn’t [do any of this] with, like, with that in mind. So with everything we’re doing, we’re just making sure everything [that] happens, trying to make the best decisions.
I guess you weren’t used to giving interviews before this.
PM: No. No.
So is that something you had to kind of grow into?
PM: Just, throughout the whole thing I’ve kind of kept the mindset to be myself and not try to pretend to be anyone.
NYPRESS: How did you first become aware of this whole story?