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Vitamin Q: the book!

~ Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Some celebrated miles:

Stephen King’s prison novel The Green Mile was first published in six monthly parts. It was later made into a highly-rated film starring Tom Hanks. Set on death row in a 1930s jail, the title refers to the green linoleum on the way to the electric chair. The walk to the chair was also known as the last mile and this was the name of a 1932 movie (remade in the late 1950s) also about life on death row. This phrase is often used in telecommunications and technology for a problematic late phase in the development of a product or system. A song called ‘The Last Mile’ was written by Jimmy Page and Andrew Loog Oldham for singer Nico in her pre-Velvet Underground days.

In Rusholme, Manchester, hungry locals on The Curry Mile can choose from over 50 low-cost restaurants in what is actually a half-mile stretch. Some of the curry houses have been open since the 1970s.

The Golden Mile is the name given to the seafront stretch in Blackpool, one of England’s most popular traditional holiday resorts, where you will find the amusement arcades, chip shops, bingo stalls and waxworks and where you can see the famous annual show of coloured lights. In Hong Kong, the name is given to the business and nightlife centre of Kowloon, while in Melbourne, Australia, the name is used for the city’s heritage trail. There are also Golden Miles in Belfast, Detroit, Montreal, Bournemouth and on the Costa del Sol in Spain. The Golden Mile of Tipperary is an annual competition to find the most beautiful and environmentally laudable stretch of rural road in that part of Ireland. The Golden Mile was also a song by John Waite’s late 70s rock band The Babys and the title of the ‘difficult second album’ by late 90s indie-glam group My Life Story. Lastly, the term is also used for a celebrated annual athletics race held at the Bislett stadium in Oslo.

The Museum Mile stretches up 5th Avenue in Manhattan and contains such attractions as the Metropolitan, the Guggenheim and the Jewish Museum.

‘The City’, London’s centre of finance and investment is sometimes called The Square Mile.

The Miracle Mile was a shopping area of LA developed in the 1920s. The name is also used for various stretches of river where the fishing is good. The phrase is sometimes used for the first sub-four minute mile run by Roger Bannister in Oxford in 1954.

Running down through the centre of the old part of Edinburgh, The Royal Mile is one of Scotland’s most famous streets. Actually consisting of a few connected streets (and also slightly over a mile), it lies between the Castle and the royal palace of Holyrood. Along the way, you can see St Giles Cathedral, the Heart of Midlothian (marked in the cobbles by the cathedral and spat on for luck), John Knox’s House and the Old Tollbooth. Prague also has a Royal Mile which was originally the route taken by the king-to-be on his way to be crowned.

The Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky is a racetrack famous as one of the main venues for harness racing. The Milwaukee Mile is a major venue for motor racing.

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