Michigan Central Station. Disused since 1988. Pic by Romain Meffre

Darulaman Palace, Kabul. Pic by SirFin at Panoramio.

Over the past nine months I’ve enjoyed Jamblichus‘ persistent and meta-disciplined research and writing. Alas, Jamblichus is taking an extended holiday until the new year. He explains, “Terra Firma is going to have to take precedence, for it is a demanding place …”

I want to mark Jamblichus’ sabbatical with a big hat-tip. Fortunately for you he has kindly listed his most treasured works from 2009.

Be absolutely certain to read A Tale of Two Cities: Detroit and Kabul.

The piece goes from to Motor City’s 29% unemployment to Paul Simon’s ‘air of carbon and monoxide’; from poppy fields to the ‘Daisy-cutter’ ordinance “designed to kill your wife and your kids”; from Detroit’s new casinos and wild dogs to the hippie trail of the sixties experienced from vans “likely built in Detroit”; from the first Marks & Spencer in Central Asia (Kabul, 1960) to the necessary down-sizing of America’s failed urban expansions … and of course there’s the decay.

It is the best of opinion writing, replete with links that make your head spin and a fecund smattering of profanity.