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Byline: Chris O'Brien
Jul. 31--For most of their existence, about the only thing that San Jose and San Francisco seemed to have in common was the first part of their names. And for a long time, residents of each city probably wouldn't have had it any other way.
San Jose is known as the capital of mighty Silicon Valley and a center of industry and technological innovation. San Francisco is an internationally known city with a thriving arts and cultural scene.
Now the rivals are doing something once unthinkable: Trying to become more like each other.
San Jose wants to cure its chronic case of San Francisco envy by building its own arts institutions, developing a downtown that is more destination and less ghost town and even luring a major league baseball franchise from Oakland. Local leaders believe making the city more livable is essential to attracting the employees the high-tech industry craves.
San Francisco, on the other hand, is desperately remaking itself into a technology haven as it embraces the dot-com industry, embarks on building a massive biotechnology campus and tries to put on a friendlier face for new business. After losing almost 10 percent of its jobs in the 1990s and many high-profile corporate headquarters, the city decided it needed to find a new source of economic growth.
It remains to be …