Walking Almaty: Marveling at the Mundane
The latest Pedaling Pictures production is a profile of Dennis Keen, founder of Walking Almaty. We had the good fortune of being able to spend a long afternoon in Almaty with Dennis earlier this summer, where he took us on a tour of some of his favorite neighborhoods, pigeon markets, drainpipes, rail girders, cornices, window frames, etc.
For the uninitiated, Walking Almaty is essentially a well-organized collection of overlooked items that make up everyday street scenes in Almaty. Dennis likes to walk, and he has a keen (that’s right) eye for noticing the unnoticed, and finding patterns in things that pretty much everyone else takes for granted. Then, perhaps more importantly, he asks people questions. He asks the owner of the colorful door why he painted the door that color. He asks about the purpose of the horseshoe tacked to the wall. He asks not only how much the pigeons cost, but where he can see them race and perform pigeon acrobatics. Through this and online extensions of the same technique, Dennis has amassed a considerable knowledge base that grows with every stroll.
We hope to have conveyed some of the subtle humor found throughout the site, along with the project’s refreshing sense of optimism and curiosity. But the best way to experience Walking Almaty is to see it for yourself–or better yet, hire Dennis as your tour guide for your next trip to Almaty.