Within the World of Forever

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It will close up to stores in the United States and up to over all.

Forever 21 said that it would continue to operate its website and hundreds of stores in the United States, where it is a major tenant for mall owners, as well as stores in Mexico and Latin America. The bankruptcy is a blow to a company that prided itself on embodying the American dream, as well as a reminder of how quickly the retail landscape is transforming. Forever 21 experienced big success in the early s with its troves of merchandise that imitated of-the-moment designer styles at rock-bottom prices. But the company expanded too aggressively just as technology was beginning to upend its business.

Chang said. The company employs about 32, people, down from 43, in Chang said, and customer studies have suggested that 40 percent of Forever 21 shoppers are between the ages of 25 and While teenage and something women were the core customer base, Forever 21 believed that it could sell to the whole family.

The company said it is in discussions with the landlord of that store about its future.

Now and Forever with a Giant Baseball for a Head

He said liquidations might begin Oct. While the company did not have specific data available, Mr.

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Goulding said that underperforming stores were likely located in lower-quality malls and those that had lost other bankrupt retailers, like Sears. On a cold and cloudless October afternoon, I stepped off the bus after a two-hour ride from Lulea, the last stop on the passenger train from Stockholm, and approached a tourist booth inside the Haparanda bus station.

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The manager sketched out a walk that took me past the northernmost IKEA store in the world, and then under a four-lane highway and down the Storgatan, or main street. I followed a side street to a grassy esplanade on the banks of the Torne. Across the river in Finland the white dome of the 18th-century Alatornio Church rose over a forest of birches. In the crisp light near dusk I walked on to the railroad station, a monumental neo-Classical brick structure.

Lenin and his fellow exiles, revolutionaries all, including his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, had boarded a train in Zurich, crossed Germany, traveled the Baltic Sea by ferry and ridden 17 hours by rail from Stockholm to this remote corner of Sweden. They hired horse-drawn sleds to head across the frozen river to Finland.

On each sledge were two people. Tension as [we] approached the Finnish border reached its maximum Vladimir Ilyich was outwardly calm.


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I also wanted to sense some of what Lenin experienced as he sped toward his destiny. President Vladimir Putin has emerged in recent years as a militaristic authoritarian intent on rebuilding Russia as a world power. This article is a selection from the March issue of Smithsonian magazine.


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  4. Lenin, who represents a tumultuous force that turned a society upside down, is hardly the kind of figure that Putin, a deeply conservative autocrat, wants to celebrate. The sun was setting as I made my way toward the bus station to catch my ride across the bridge to Finland. I shivered in the Arctic chill as I walked beside the river Lenin had crossed, with the old church steeple reflecting off the placid water in the fading pink light. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov was born in into a middle-class family in Simbirsk now called Ulyanovsk , on the Volga River, miles east of Moscow.

    Though Vladimir and his siblings grew up in comfort, the poverty and injustice of imperial Russia weighed heavily upon them. In his older brother, Alexander, was hanged in St. After an interlude at Kazan University, Ulyanov began reading the works of Marx and Engels, the 19th-century theoreticians of Communism. Petersburg University in , Lenin became a leader of a Marxist group in St. Petersburg, secretly distributing revolutionary pamphlets to factory workers and recruiting new members.

    As the brother of an executed anti-czarist, he was under surveillance by the police, and in he was arrested, convicted of distributing propaganda and sentenced to three years in Siberian exile. Nadezhda Krupskaya, the daughter of an impoverished Russian army officer suspected of revolutionary sympathies, joined him there.

    The two had met at a gathering of leftists in St. Petersburg; she married him in Siberia. Ulyanov later would adopt the nom de guerre Lenin likely derived from the name of a Siberian river, the Lena. Soon after his return from Siberia, Lenin fled into exile in Western Europe.

    Except for a brief period back in Russia, he remained out of the country until He argued that revolution would come from a coalition of peasants and factory workers, the so-called proletariat—led always by professional revolutionaries. Soon after the outbreak of the world war in August , Lenin and Krupskaya were in Zurich, living off a small family inheritance. I made my way to the Altstadt, a cluster of medieval alleys that rise from the steep banks of the Limmat River. Here I found Number 14, a five-story building with a gabled rooftop, and a commemorative plaque mounted on the beige facade.

    Peter, distinguished by the largest clock face in Europe. Enraged over food shortages, corruption and the disastrous war against Germany and Austria-Hungary, thousands of demonstrators had filled the streets of Petrograd, clashing with police; soldiers loyal to the czar switched their support to the protesters, forcing Nicholas II to abdicate. He and his family were placed under house arrest. The Russian Provisional Government, dominated by members of the bourgeoisie—the caste that Lenin despised—had taken over, sharing power with the Petrograd Soviet, a local governing body.

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    Lenin raced out to buy every newspaper he could find—and began making plans to return home. The German government was at war with Russia, but it nonetheless agreed to help Lenin return home. On April 9, Lenin and his 31 comrades gathered at Zurich station. A group of about Russians, enraged that the revolutionaries had arranged passage by negotiating with the German enemy, jeered at the departing company.

    Forever 21 bankruptcy: what does that actually mean? - Vox

    As the train left the station, Lenin reached out the window to bid farewell to a friend. As they rolled toward Berlin, Krupskaya and Lenin took note of the absence of young men in the villages where they stopped—virtually all were at the front or dead.

    A Deutsche Bahn regional train second-class compartment bore me across Germany to Rostock, a port city on the Baltic Sea. A handful of tourists and dozens of Scandinavian and Russian truck drivers sipped goulash soup and ate bratwurst in the cafeteria as the ferry lurched into motion. Stepping onto the outdoor observation deck on a cold, drizzly night, I felt the sting of sea spray and stared up at a huge orange lifeboat, clamped in its frame high above me.

    Leaning over the starboard rail, I could make out the red and green lights of a buoy flashing through the mist. Then we passed the last jetty and headed into the open sea, bound for Trelleborg, Sweden, six hours north.

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    While most of his comrades suffered the heaving of the ship below decks, Lenin remained outside, joining a few other stalwarts in singing revolutionary anthems. At one point a wave broke across the bow and smacked Lenin in the face. Plowing through the blackness of the Baltic night, I found it easy to imagine the excitement that Lenin must have felt as his ship moved inexorably toward his homeland.

    After standing in the drizzle for a half-hour, I headed to my spartan cabin to catch a few hours sleep before the vessel docked in Sweden at in the morning. In Trelleborg, I caught a train north to Stockholm, as Lenin did, riding past lush meadows and forests. He consented to a new pair of shoes to replace his studded mountain boots, but he drew the line at an overcoat; he was not, he said, opening a tailor shop.

    Created by Swedish artist Bjorn Lovin and situated in the courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art, it consists of a backdrop of black granite and a long strip of cobblestones embedded with a piece of iron tram track. The work pays tribute to an iconic photo of Lenin strolling the Vasagatan, carrying an umbrella and wearing a fedora, joined by Krupskaya and other revolutionaries.

    Clambering into the horse-drawn sleds on the bank of the frozen Torne in Haparanda on the night of April 15, Lenin and his wife and comrades crossed to Finland, then under Russian control, and fully expected to be turned back at the border or even detained by Russian authorities. Instead they received a hearty welcome. It was terribly good. I spent the night in Kemi, Finland, a bleak town on Bothnian Bay, walking in the freezing rain through the deserted streets to a concrete-block hotel just up from the waterfront. When I awoke at the town was still shrouded in darkness.

    In winter, a receptionist told me, Kemi experiences only a couple of hours of daylight. From there, I took the train south to Tampere, a riverside city where Lenin briefly stopped on his way to Petrograd.

    Twelve years earlier, Lenin had held a clandestine meeting in the Tampere Workers Hall with a year-old revolutionary and bank robber, Joseph Stalin, to discuss money-raising schemes for the Bolsheviks. At its peak, the Lenin Museum drew 20, tourists a year—mostly Soviet tour groups visiting nonaligned Finland to get a taste of the West. But after the Soviet Union broke apart in , interest waned, Finnish members of parliament denounced it and vandals ripped off the sign on the front door and riddled it with bullets.