Tashkent is a sowjet city planner’s dream come true. huge streets in a rectangular grid, you need a long time to cross a street and then, why would you, there is always nothing on the other side (as well as on your own…)
fir trees: islam karimow the current president/autocrat (ever since the countries independence and actually already before that time…) has a great liking for conifers,  which lead him to get rid of the old and huge trees in the city center and plant little fir trees instead. no more shade, no more people spending time in the shade of trees – might have been on purpose. a few weeks ago a group of artists calling themselves ‘nas why?’ or ‘why us’ decided on an exhibiton called ‘my favorite tree’ which dealt with conifer trees and their sudden appearance on (formerly) public squares, on advertisements and on the covering plastic foils which are used to beautify or rather hide building-sites from touristic and maybe also the presidential view. in the days following the exhibtion the omnipresent secret service of the country was sent to track down the artists involved – as far as i read, happily without success…