Movie moment

Yes, I’d been there: just not in real life.

OK, I’ll play Keith’s game, though my movie moment wasn’t nearly as dramatic as his.

Shortly after I moved to Los Angeles, my parents came out to visit. (That’s when I learned that living in LA had been my father’s youthful dream, which he still regretted not having acted out.)

I decided to take them to the planetarium in Griffith Park, which I’d never been to. Called to get directions. Got to the place where the directions told me to go the wrong way on a one-way street.

Now we’re wandering around LA, with me trying to navigate with the aid of my Thomas Guide. (For our younger readers, that’s a primitive substitute for a Garmin.)

Eventually we were on a palm-lined boulevard, heading uphill. I said, “I think we’re going the right way.” But of course, never having been there, I had no rational basis for that belief.

About half a minute later, I said, “I know we’re going the right way.” And I did. I’d never been there before in person, but that drive up the hill, with palm trees lining the road, is the opening scene of “Rebel Without a Cause.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: