Nate Silver is on the downtown 1 train. Possibly because he looks like a (modestly) hip math teacher, and hardly looks up from his phone, he goes unrecognized until he reaches the PlayStation Theater in Times Square.
There, his name is in lights, and people start to nudge one another and point him out. Hundreds of fans - many of them male, young and white - have lined up outside, waiting to watch the data journalist and his colleagues record a podcast. Those who hold the priciest tickets ($100) even get the chance to mingle with the stars of the website FiveThirtyEight and have their picture taken with top editor Silver afterwards.
"We're giant nerds," explained Priyanka Mitra-Hahn, a PhD student from Brooklyn, when asked why she, her wife and a friend came out to last week's sold-out event.
If a statistics guru can be a rock star, Silver is surely it. But even rock stars have bad days.
Silver, 38, had a run of them a few months ago, when it became obvious that his consistent early dismissals of Donald Trump's chances to be the Republican presidential nominee were flat-out wrong.