I could be wrong, but I'd thought the market on essays about how New York Isn't What It Once Was, on how the city is now one big Chase Bank, Duane Reade, and Starbucks-filled mall, had long since been saturated. But no. Kevin Baker's vaguely Obama-themed piece in the Times yesterday was a fine example of an article that's been written so, so many times since the Clinton years, if not earlier, that it reads as parody. Particularly lines like, "I fell in love with an artist who lived at the Salvation Army’s Evangeline residence for women, and we walked the slate-blue paving stones around Gramercy Park for hours, talking about art." Is this for real?