Imagine it: Philadelphia with no rail access, in a time when there were no cars or planes. The above poster (unearthed by recent contributor Andrew Chalfen) seems absurd — "Will you permit this? Or do you consent to be a SUBURB OF NEW YORK!!" — but lurking in its strange 1800s-ness is something that feels oddly familiar today. Two things, actually: One is the strange specter of New York for Philadelphians, even then, and to see physical evidence that Philly was sweating NYC this far back is both comforting and heartbreaking. But the other is the highly spun, politicized language of fear: How different is this poster, really, than any of the paid-for-by-Big-Soda leaflets and TV spots you're seeing right now, protesting the soda tax? On that count, to see Philadelphians spoken to by the moneyed in such garbagespeak brings about nothing so much as a sigh. Philadelphia: Same as it ever was. On the bright side, though, we can breathe easy: The above politicking did not work. We got those trains. Phew.