A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 17, 2013
Texas of Kazakhstan (Shymkent city nickname)

Shymkent, the capital city of South Kazakhstan Province, has been called the “Texas of Kazakhstan” since at least 2007. Shymkent is in the south (like Texas) and its people are considered independent with a cowboy-like spirit. Shymkent is also known for its lawlessness, like the Texas of western movies.

The country of Kazakhstan itself had once been called the “Texas of the Soviet Union.”


Wikipedia: Shymkent
Shymkent (Kazakh: Шымкент / Şımkent), formerly known as Chimkent (Russian: Чимкент) until 1993, is the capital city of South Kazakhstan Province, the most populated region in Kazakhstan. It is the third most populous city in Kazakhstan behind Almaty and Astana with a population of 629,600 (2011-02-01). A major railroad junction on the Turkestan-Siberia Railway, the city is also a notable cultural centre, with an international airport. It is situated 690 km west of Almaty and 120 km to the north of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 603,499 (2009 Census results); 423,902 (1999 Census results).

john hawks weblog
An interview with Mica Glantz
Fri, 2007-11-16 15:39—John Hawks
(...)
Glantz: I am writing you from an area that locals refer to as the “Texas” of Kazakhstan. The area is South Kazakhstan oblast, and we are in that province’s capital city - Shymkent. It is the third largest city in terms of population in the country. Referred to as the Texas of Kazakhstan because of its similar geographic placement as that of our dear lone star state, but also because of the attitude of the people here. They are considered sort of ‘cowboys’. It is also one of the most traditional areas of Kazakhstan, most folks speak Kazakh instead of Russian on the street—this is very different from the rest of country, which is much more russified.

cultural learnings of Kazakhstan
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The Long Awaited Nauryz Update (and I do mean long)
(...)
I took a train ride down to Shymkent, which is called the Texas of Kazakhstan because it’s so wild and corrupt. Sort of a Wild West thing I understand.

To Kazakhstan for one Moore
Friday, April 18, 2008
A Few Questions Answered
(...)
It’s great to stay connected to everyone while off in the wilds of Kazakhstan.  Which reminds me that Shymkent is often referred to as the ‘Texas’ of Kazakhstan.  This is due to the history of lawlessness and corruption in Shymkent, which seems to be somewhat improving over the past few years, but still well off from our standards.  Of course, not sure what is says about Texas, either… wink
Posted by Jesse and Amy at 1:13 AM

Pure Crop Beaches
Monday, April 6, 2009
Vacation, Vacation, Vacation
For the Kazakh New Year (Nauryz) at the end of March, a ton of PCVs head south to Shymkent, Kazakhstan’s second most populous city after the former capital, Almaty. For most Kazakhstanis, Shymkent brings to mind some vague notions of lawlessness, excessive drinking, and a weird brand of nationalism. They call it the Texas of Kazakhstan - I know this because anytime anyone tells anyone else they’re going to Shymkent, the ubiquitous response is “do you know we call it the Texas of Kazakhstan?” Both Corinne and I were warned several times that Shymkent is supposedly very dangerous...almost exclusively by people who have never been to Shymkent.

Twitter
Тристрам‏
@TristramPerry
Shymkent calls itself “the Texas of Kazakhstan”—why?
6:32 AM - 7 Jul 12

Twitter
Aigerim Begaliyeva
‏@aigera
Hanging with @zaureshae in Texas of Kazakhstan #Shymkent @ Kok-Saray http://instagram.com/p/bl4maRg7Qz/
9:21 AM - 10 Jul 13

Texas Monthly
Greetings from the Texas of Kazakhstan
Why Shymkent, a city in South Kazakhstan, proudly thinks of itself as the Lone Star State of Central Asia.

by Sonia Smith
Wed August 7, 2013 8:00 am
“Shymkent—it’s Texas. There are bandits there and here as well,” our Uzbek cab driver explained as he navigated his blue minivan through the chaotic streets of Kazakhstan’s third largest city. Shymkent is the capital of South Kazakhstan Oblast, a state that has been nicknamed “the Texas of Kazakhstan” since Soviet times. Before we got out of our cab, the driver invited us to come over to his house and eat shashlik, barbecued shish kebabs. Southern hospitality, post-Soviet style. 

Ask why this area is considered the “Texas” of Kazakhstan and you typically get some variation of the following answer: geography (located in the same south and central part of the country as the Lone Star State), cows (lots), and lawlessness (the Wild West of Kazakhstan!). To be fair, the “Texas of X” construction is one that pops up with some frequency. See Bavaria ( “the Texas of Germany” ), Mongolia ( “the Texas of Asia” ), Nigeria ( “the Texas of Africa” ). And Kazakhstan, with its 30 billion barrels of proven oil reserves , itself has been dubbed “the Texas of Central Asia.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Saturday, August 17, 2013 • Permalink