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APPLES, ANGELS REVOLVE AROUND REPULSIVE FORCES.

Byline: JANE ROBISON

STARTLING news has come to my attention suggesting L.A.'s sister city may not be Nagoya, Japan, as earlier believed, but that great Big Apple in the east - New York City.

This is a disturbing revelation that's going to take some time to process.

However, a growing body of evidence leaves one with little doubt that Angelenos and New Yorkers share several eerie similarities.

NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani wants to rid his city of loud, obnoxious, obstinate public nuisances.

L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan wants to rid his city of the City Council. Same thing.

They have Long Island and Staten Island. We have the Valley, which is treated like an island . . . or a penal colony, depending on whose council district you fall under.

They have ``Seinfeld,'' a show about New York.

We film ``Seinfeld,'' a show about nothing.

New York City is tackling charter reform, with the City Council and the mayor creating competing charter revision commissions.

Ditto in L.A.

We have the Dodgers. They don't.

But from here, the two cities take divergent paths that, while opposite, are still strangely parallel.

What can account for this mutual gravitational attraction that is cosmic in nature and telegenic in scope?

Astronomers are increasingly confident that they have detected the first strong evidence that the universe is permeated by a repulsive force, Rudy Giuliani.

As conceived by theorists, this force is an energy that acts on a large scale to stretch restraining orders and force people to act against their will to be civil and behave.

If the observations are correct, it could resolve a paradox raised by previous controversial suggestions that New York was the center of the universe.

Countervailing forces have conspired to strip the Big Apple of that title, and bestow the cosmic center on L.A. Ipso facto.

Reflecting the excitement touched off by the new findings, Dr. Michael S. Turner, a hoity-toity astrophysicist, told The New York Times: ``This is a remarkable discovery. It means that most of the universe is influenced by an abundance of some weird form of energy whose force is repulsive.''

Have we not been witnessing repulsive forces at work in the City of Angels for some time?

Parallel repulsive forces might explain why an old, decaying, putrefied city like New York seems to be experiencing a cultural and economic renaissance while a vibrant, thriving, superior looking city like L.A. seems to be driving people away.

For example, New York City's budget fortunes keep getting better while L.A.'s are being flushed down the toilet.

It defies explanation. It boggles the mind.

Why, for example, has New York been able to harness Disney to spruce up and help revive Times Square, yet we can't get Disney Hall built?

How horrible to believe you're living in a first-class world city only to wake up one fine morning and discover - you're not.

And then you start grappling with who's leading, who's parroting the other.

Granted, we copied their Beggar Begone Law, driving aggressive panhandlers back into the gutter, and their police FASTRAC program on computer crime.

Meanwhile, they seem to be mirroring our city charter struggle and power grab fight between the mayor and the council.

Still, I devoutly believe that anything they can do, we can do better.

They have a grungy, smelly subway system that carries millions of people around the city each day.

We have a spotless, shiny new subway system that carries millions of dollars of debt around and reeks of fraud and corruption.

They have offensive taxi drivers.

Our council agreed in September to spend $100,000 for ``sensitivity training'' for the 4,000 or so men and women who drive taxis in Los Angeles.

Their public scourge are car alarms. Big deal.

Our public scourge are loud, whiny celebrities who complain about leaf blowers.

And while they stole the Grammy Awards from us and now want to give them back, we still have the Academy Awards, the creme de la creme of shindigs.

About the only thing we haven't been able to duplicate is Giuliani, their mayor who likes to dress up like Marilyn Monroe and sing at fund-raising dinners.

Too bad. I hear Riordan has great gams.
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Title Annotation:VIEWPOINT
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 15, 1998
Words:707
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