Sometimes Bishkek is Actually a Beautiful, Green City

When I first escaped Urumqi’s desert dust and began to marvel at the [comparative] lush greenness of Almaty last July a local remarked that Almaty was a green city, but Bishkek was greener yet.
Almaty’s greenness is in its many trees, in its well-ordered parks and pleasant walks. This is what I was expecting in Bishkek. What I found instead was a wilderness: while Almaty’s parks were tamed and well-tripped, populated with neatly-spaced, clean park benches and functioning fountains, Bishkek’s are little more than a tangled wilderness of uncut grass, dust-ridden bushes, and unidentifiable weeds (which might have once been flowers?). Parts of the city lay unclaimed, almost vacant lots with gaping eyes of half-abandoned buildings peering over the arboral wreckage, like they belong to a city abandoned long ago. Less tamed, less evidence of human crafting, closer to it’s natural state – but certainly not what comes to mind when I think of “green”, especially as I was living in the dusty southwest corner, home to a hundred construction projects.
But last week it rained, and this Sunday the city burst into leaves. We now drive though tree lined boulevards of bouncing green, the boughs barely brushing the cars; walk down park pathways cloaked in fresh, rain-washed green; gaze out our windows at the rolling green foothills under skies of crystal blue. I know it won’t last – summer will come, and with it the sweat, the heat, the dust. But for now the city is finally, fully living up to its initial promise.











One thought on “Sometimes Bishkek is Actually a Beautiful, Green City

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s