Pandemic or no pandemic, love will find a way—just ask Jeremy Cohen, a quarantined New Yorker who is now dating his neighbor after using a drone to give his phone number to the young woman he spotted dancing on a nearby rooftop.
Cohen, a Brooklyn-based music photographer and filmmaker who has worked with the likes of Miley Cyrus and Lizzo, was just one of millions of Americans twiddling their thumbs in self-isolation last week when he saw an animated figure dancing with gusto on a neighboring rooftop.
“I thought she was really cute from far away,” Cohen told The New York Post. “During this quarantine, I think everyone is fiending for social interaction. I was like, ‘Oh my god, a girl. I haven’t seen one for so long.’”
Cohen then pulled out his phone to document the meet-cute that followed. In a now-famous series of videos, the two neighbors can be seen waving to one another—although the distance between their building made conversation difficult.
Necessity, however, is the mother of invention, and in a flash of inspiration, the video shows Cohen writing his phone number on a piece of paper, taping it to his drone, and using a remote control to navigate the machine through the air towards his brunette belle.
I can’t believe this actually worked and yes this is a real story pic.twitter.com/X5KbBl0qIe— Jeremy Cohen (@jerm_cohen) March 22, 2020
Tori Cignarella, the dancer in question, has also racked up thousands of views since posting her own Instagram post of the quarantine disco.
“I was actually hanging out with my roommate … and I was actually doing the dance from ‘High School Musical,’” Cignarella said, referring to the topically uplifting tune of “We’re All in this Together”.
“I was not expecting to get a phone number out of it,” she added. “We could see his balcony pretty clearly from where we were on the roof and he basically just kind of shouted over to me.”
As he narrated the TikTok video, Cohen admitted that flirting is “normally daunting” for him, but he is also apparently a hopeless romantic—a fact that is clearly evident in the footage that followed.
The second installment of Cohen’s video series shows the couple sharing a dinner date from across the street as they each sit down to an intimate meal, complete with wine and nice tablecloths, on their respective balconies—something Cohen had stealthily coordinated with Cignarella’s roommate.
“This date is going really well,” Cohen later confided to his social media followers. “Depending on how long this quarantine lasts, I might just end up in a long-distance relationship with someone who lives across the street.”
The couple can be seen laughing and clinking their glasses over FaceTime—and by the end of the update, Cohen says he has made up his mind. “It’s time to take this relationship to the next level,” he says to the camera, with a twinkle in his eye.
PART 2. Her name is Tori. She’s cute and kind and I’m sor happy I met her pic.twitter.com/tyo0AItBbd— Jeremy Cohen (@jerm_cohen) March 25, 2020
Cohen’s third video installment turned out to be the most impressive of all…
As a means of keeping himself quarantined, the infatuated Brooklynite steps inside of a giant inflatable plastic bubble before walking (and rolling) the short distance to Cignarella’s home. He even brought her flowers—although he later realized that he was unable to give them to her, trapped in a bubble as he was.
Upon emerging from her apartment building to see her rooftop Romeo ensconced in a plastic ball like a human hamster, however, Cignarella almost falls to the floor in delight.
The two of them were then filmed walking through their neighborhood, enjoying the sunshine and “holding” hands through the bubble. They even experienced a brief scare with a NYC police crew only to have the officers admit that they wanted a picture after seeing the couple on the news the night before.
“I can’t believe this actually worked, and yes, this is a true story,” Cohen tweeted alongside the video series, which have now been viewed millions of times.
If that weren’t enough, Cohen has also taken the opportunity to use his new internet fame to promote two worthy causes: a small-business booster called Help Main Street, and food bank organization Feeding America. He posted links to his Twitter page prior to his third video update, saying: “So I went kinda viral today, but there’s a real virus that is actually affecting a lot of people’s lives sooo while I try to figure out how to have a virtual date with this girl here’s a few ways you can help.”
So thoroughly has this lockdown love story captured the hearts of social media followers worldwide, we’re expecting a Hollywood adaptation of their story called Love In The Time Of Corona in the coming years.
How to date during Quarantine (PART 3) pic.twitter.com/2ER4UX4FN0— Jeremy Cohen (@jerm_cohen) March 27, 2020