Despite what you may have heard, Times Square is a ghost town

To the majority of people who have ever set foot in Times Square, the idea that people might willingly choose to live amongst the crowds and glowing screens is preposterous.

However, according to the New York Times, there are around 5,800 residents in the area between Avenue of the Americas and Eighth Avenue, from West 41st to 53rd Streets. That is, they explain, fewer than in the town of Maquoketa, Iowa.

In comparison, there are roughly 400,000 transitory residents – otherwise known as tourists – who pass through the area daily.

“I’m always fascinated by the energy, and it amuses me more than annoys me,” said Michael Wolk to the Times. Wolk moved to New York in 1977 and rented in the theater district for 11 years before settling at 1600 Broadway, at 48th Street.

“If I don’t draw the shades, I can read a book by the lights of the ‘Phantom of the Opera’ billboard across the street,” he said. [NYT]