Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > HGTV/House Hunters in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan!
Notices

HGTV/House Hunters in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan!

Reply

Sep 29th, 2011, 09:20 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
HGTV/House Hunters in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan!

Greetings,

It has been too long since I have posted on the forums here. Miss it very much.

Along with some colleagues, I helped House Hunters International (on HGTV in the US) with an episode they produced on a young couple moving to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan earlier this year, and it is premiering tonight. The timing is ironic, as I just started watching the show about two weeks before the production company called me (so I was bknowledgeableable about what they do, and felt honored to assist).

http://www.hgtv.com/house-hunters-in...tan/index.html

Kirstin and Farrell Styers met in Washington D.C.and fell in love in Baghdad. They're moving to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to start a media analysis company. It's a growing city thats eager to shed the shackles of it's former Soviet occupation and that's only if it can get beyond its civil uprisings. Agent Harvey Wager takes these intrepid adventurers on a whirlwind tour of Bishkek from opulence to efficiency, and shows them that even with their small budget they can get the best of Bishkek. See what happens when House Hunters International discovers Bishkek Kyrgyzstan.

September 29, 2011 10:30 PM e/p 1:30 AM e/p
October 28, 2011, 9:30 PM e/p, 12:30 AM e/p

I will post a link to the video once it is published (and am cross-posting this on Europe and Asia forums as Kyrgyzstan straddles both regions).
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2011, 11:00 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
quite an adventure for you Marc..I recall you had a gallery or museum in Moscow (or St. Petersburg), at one time. Uzbek SSR was one of my destinations back in SSR days...I wanted to visit Frunze (now Bishkek) back in the 80's when I spent some time in Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara. I was invited to interview the small Jewish community remaining in Frunze (Bishkek)at the time, but logistically, I couldn't make it. I will certainly try to catch the program tonight. Good going Marc!
stu
tower is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2011, 11:09 AM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
Thanks, Stu. My wife has held several exhibitions in Moscow (Tretyakov, MARS gallery, some other contemporary art museums) and in St Petersburg (Hermitage, State Russian Museum). This week there is an exhibition opening at the Tretyakov with some pieces from my family's collection.

The Jewish community in Kyrgyzstan is very small, and probably smaller than when you almost visited. Uzbekistan has a long and rich history of Jewish culture, but by contrast the Jewish community in Kyrgyzstan proper was always very small (remember Uzbekistan was settled, while what is now Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan were largely nomadic). Also, the non-ethnic Kyrgyz population in Kyrgyzstan has fallen since independence.

Kyrgyzstan is still a fascinating place, interesting to me because of the geopolitical issues that come to the surface there. I head a trade council for Kyrgyzstan-US/Canadian relations, and have held several conferences with government ministers from the region (one was scheduled for April 2010 and had to be aborted because of the revolution the day before!). One of my proudest moments was last year, hosting President Otunbayeva at an investment conference in New York during the UN week.
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2011, 11:49 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,121
Thanks for the heads-up on this. I love the show and am always interested in foreign real estate, not to mention pockets of Jewish culture around the world.

Was it you who had some sort of art/photography show in DC a few years ago? I went to that and it was great!
StCirq is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2011, 12:22 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
We've had several shows in DC in the last 10 years, usually one day exhibitions at the US Senate or the Russian Embassy (most recently in May 2011, photographs of early Soviet space program which then went to the Russian Cultural Center). Last year we had a show at the Wilson Center for about six months on prints.
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2011, 12:57 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,989
Thank you for posting this! I love House Hunters International and my favorite episodes are ones that feature off-the-radar destinations. Sounds like a fascinating story and I'm very much looking forward to the episode.

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2011, 01:34 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,121
It was the show and reception at Wilson Center I went to. Great stuff!

Look forward to watching tonight.
StCirq is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 30th, 2011, 06:03 AM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
It was a good episode!

StCirq, there is an exhibition in Washington of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov that you might enjoy (although we did not lend any pieces to this exhibit).

My wife, Natalia Kolodzei, is quoted in the article in today's Washington Post:

http://rbth.ru/articles/2011/09/30/t...ent_13509.html
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 30th, 2011, 06:54 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,121
That looks very interesting, MDM. I'll try to get over there this weekend or next; it's just a short hike from my house.

I liked the episode last night. I was surprised at how attractive Bishkek was, with all those lovely parks and bustling avenues. And the prices of the apartments! After living in DC, that couple must've been able to save a bundle. The only thing I didn't quite get was the young man never seemed to grasp (or at least never mentioned) that he was going to have to PAY for the office in the same building...but I guess the total price was still a bargain for them. That first apartment, at $600 a month, was amazing!

Thanks for letting us know about this. It was fun to see your name in the credits!
StCirq is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 30th, 2011, 07:54 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
Fascinating and great! Marc, thank you for sharing...Keep us informed, please.
stu
tower is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 30th, 2011, 08:25 AM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
StCirq, there's a lot of backstory to it...and that is a beautiful apartment for $600, I know the person who ultimately took it and it is one of the nicest 'mid level' residences in the city.

One thing that I like about House Hunters International is the sense of optimism that is conveyed on the show. Bishkek, and Kyrgyzstan, is a challenging place and HHI showed a nice young American couple who are willing to make lots of compromises in deciding to live there.
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 30th, 2011, 05:22 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,989
I really enjoyed the episode. I too was taken by surprise by how attactive Bishkek was. I've been interested in traveling to Central Asia for awhile, but logistically (and budget-wise) it's difficult. I love it when HHI shows locations that many may not know about and casts them in a positive light.

I'm getting bored with all of the Central American episodes tht have been on lately so this was a much-welcomed change.

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2011, 02:23 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,051
I am a big fan of HGTV and try to watch all their episodes. I love it when they go to places that I know absolutely nothing about. I saw this episode last night and found it fascinating, how interesting to visit cities off the beaten track even if just in a chair at home watching TV
tdk320n is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2011, 09:05 AM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
StCirq (and others interested in Russian art):

Here is a piece that was broadcast on Voice of America from the opening of the Moskow Grafika exhibition at the Wilson Center:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd4QS634_k0

My wife is the younger woman being interviewed. At about 3m35s, you can see my mother in law with the (now former) Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the US/Canada. The piece is in Russian but you can still see a nice selection (about 0.1%) of my family's art collection.
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2011, 09:17 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,121
I recall seeing many of those pieces at the exhibition. Some really interesting stuff and a wide-ranging collection!

Do you by chance know the acting U.S. ambassador to Belarus? His girlfriend, Anya, lived with us for 6 months before returning to Minsk. They are a lovely couple, and we try to get together with them whenever they are back in DC. They always have fascinating stories to tell.
StCirq is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2011, 09:47 AM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
Probably the one former Soviet country that I haven't met an ambassador to or from is Belarus...
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 4th, 2011, 10:50 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,350
This episode was on again tonight. I have been to Bishkek and I was amazed how good it was presented on HHI. They showed the main attractions of the city in the fairly short amount of time without showing the poverty. I do agree that the first apartment was just amazing and made me want to move there. I am originally from Almaty, I don't think you could get as much there for $600/month.
Tentek is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 5th, 2011, 04:20 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,604
I just saw this last night too. I realize everyone has a different budget, but, I was utterly gobsmacked that they didn't take that first apartment. Really. Especially when the guy said several times that they could negotiate.

I felt the same as StCirq, too - he didn't realize that he was going to have to pay something for the office next door? Not to mention, uhhhh.. just how much less time are you going to feel compelled to work with an office next door versus in your own apartment? When the weather gets cold and crappy, wouldn't an office up the hall be better than one across the alley?

I wonder if the two combined brought it to the price the big apartment would have been after negotiation. I mean, just look at that view, for starters! Did the couple feel they would have more street cred if they didn't live in "opulence"?
flygirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 2011, 03:09 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2
The only point I will make here is that Kirsten and Farrell made logical choices that weren't obvious on the show...
Marc_Miller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 2011, 08:19 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1
Hi everybody! This is Kirstin, Marc sent me a link to this thread and I thought I'd clear up some things. First thing, we weren't looking for a new apartment in real life. The show is "recreating" an apartment-hunting experience, so the little studio we ended up "choosing" at the end of the episode is one we had already been living in for several months. The first apartment (which actually belonged to Harvey) was amaaaazing, but it was neither available for rent nor $600 a month (compared to other flats of that size, I would say it's around $1200 a month).

Ahh, the magic of TV. We're still in the studio apartment and we love having the office right next door. Now that it's getting colder out, it's really convenient to have it so close but still have that work-space/living-space separation. I do sometimes wish that we had a bigger apartment, but it is important that we've been able to reinvest those savings back into our business. Things are going really well right now!

Here's a link to the episode on Youtube if anybody's interested:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETNRcAVOo6U
ivorypom is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:35 AM.