Our Love for Converse

More than just a pair of beat-up shoes, my Converse have stood the test of time, carrying defining moments of my youth through its simplicity and sense of familiarity that everyone has grown to love.

I was sitting in a parking lot, surrounded by friends, waiting for a concert to start. We were shaking from the cold and from excitement for the show we had purchased tickets for many months ago. My legs were stretched out in front of me, and I took notice of my hot pink Converse that looked perfect with the blues and pinks from the sky. As I stared at my shoes, I saw all the dirt marks on them. Instead of getting upset about my carelessness with my shoes, I thought about the memories these shoes hold, the memories that have defined my youth that are present on my Converse. 

Proud Owner Since Age Five

I have owned a variety of Converse since the age of five; blue, gray, light pink, hot pink, and the classic white. I remember walking through the Converse store contemplating which color suited me best at the time. Part of the reason why I believe Converse is very popular is because of time.

Playing Against and With Time

Converse All Star shoes have been in production since 1917. Being around for approximately 102 years, they have had to play both against and with time. Every brand’s goal is to exist for as long as possible or to become timeless. Converse, originally a shoe for basketball players, had to challenge time when players moved on to more comfortable and durable shoes. The brand experienced some low points after losing its core consumers, but you can go to almost any setting with young people present and see a pair of Chucks. Our generation seems to gravitate towards anything vintage; record players, mom jeans, fanny packs, and Converse. We long to include ourselves in a past that we have not seen. We lace up our Converse and think about how our parents, and even grandparents, laced their Converse up before us during their coming of age. We are attracted to the sentimentality that comes with aging shoes.

Looking for Simplicity

The Breakfast Club, Booksmart, Stand By Me, and The Edge of Seventeen are all movies about young people trying to understand the world around them now that their view from a place of innocence and comfort is shifting. In all of these movies, there is at least one character wearing Converse. I believe that youths are attached to these shoes because they are simple. As young people, we are overwhelmed by figuring out who we are, others telling us who we should be, and complicated decisions. Chucks can be edgy, soft, vibrant, cool, bold, or whatever we want them to be. Through them, we can show who we are at the moment, and no one picks them but us. They match with almost every outfit, making the decision to wear them uncomplicated. 

New Pair

The Converse that I got in high school has marks from skating in the parking lot after school, running around parks with my friends during sunset, and marching in the streets of downtown to protest injustice. Although I love my Converse and my memories with them, now that I’m in college I think it’s time for a new pair that I can make dirty. I think I’ll get bright yellow because right now, I’m feeling hopeful.

Written by: Maya Dixon

Sunflower Seeds: Comfort Zones

In this seed, I’m working on getting out of my comfort zone. But just for a second, let’s think about the Cheesecake Factory…

Every time I go to the Cheesecake Factory I always order the Godiva Cheesecake. Not that anyone cares as to what my order is, but this is a habit for me and I’m too scared to try something else that I might not like.

I find myself eager to try new things and see new places, but I also get very comfortable with what works. The whole idea of it ain’t broke, don’t fix it kind of sticks with me. However, I must say that I have been getting better at stepping out of my comfort zone especially in this the past year.

This past March when I went to New York, I didn’t know anyone that was a part of the group. People had familiar faces, but I didn’t really know these people on a personal level. I’m not going to lie at first, I was a little nervous since I ended up getting lost on the subway alone, but I was able to make some great friends from that trip. I saw a city I had never been to with fresh faces. 

I usually don’t make the first move with guys, but within the few times I have, I have been pretty successful. I haven’t had a Cinderella story from my reaching out, but I have had a few fun dates from these. Besides spontaneous trips and flirty moves, I have been saying yes to a lot more in life, and I find myself enjoying life even more. I have done things that I never thought I would do, and I couldn’t be happier! The next time I go get a desert, I might just branch out. 

Written by: Nina Capuani

Sunflower Seeds: New York, New York

New York, New York, I love you! I know that last time I was ranting about how I left Chicago to start a new life in San Diego, but I would move to the East Coast in a New York Minute.

I have never been to such a fast-paced city with so much passion and excitement. Now, before I go off tangent on how much I loved the New York, NY, the Big Apple, Times Square and all those other goodies, I would like to talk about my trip from the beginning.

Approximately 16 of us arrived at the JFK airport after an exhausting morning flight. Some of the fellow travelers had been to the city before, but I would be losing my New York virginity. By the time we got our luggage, we were eager to finally head to our hotel. Unsurprisingly, I somehow managed to lose all 15 other travelers and ended up wandering the subway for an hour. Mind you, I had never been there before, I had no cell phone service, and I wasn’t wearing my glasses/contacts so I was off to a teriffic start. After a few deep breaths, I figured out where I was going and fortunately met up with the rest of the group at our hotel.

I lived in an atrocious, filthy, and cockroach infested apartment this past summer (that is another seed to tell), but this seedy New York hotel was just as bad.

As soon as my three other roommates and I stepped onto our floor, we knew this was going to be awful. The outside of the room doors looked like coffins, so we knew we were entering death. There was mold covering the heater, and the bathroom looked like it was straight out of a horror movie.

One morning I showered so I could refresh after a long night out. I was relaxing and laying down on the bed when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I looked up, and what do I see, a RAT!!! This wasn’t a cute Ratatouille situation (even though the rat might have been looking for one); this was a very big problem in my eyes. Frantically, I called the front desk and they let us move up two floors to another room that wasn’t too spectacular either. The appliances didn’t seem to work in this one, but at least it was rat free to my knowledge. Out of my entire time of being in the city and on the subway, the only rat I saw just so happened to be in my room! Needless to say, not a lot of time was spent in that ratty hotel.

Later I ventured out to Central Park with one of my roommates to escape the the rat drama.

We were so shocked as to how elegant and captivating a piece of land in the middle of a major city could be. It had snowed the night before, so it looked like it would be in a Hallmark Movie scene. It was pretty cold, but I kind of missed the brisk air in a nostalgic way. Oddly enough, it was refreshing to be bundled up in three puffy jackets. In the park there is a John Lennon memorial. As an overall big Beatles fan, I was overjoyed to be there (I might have shed a tear or two).

I did a ton of exploring in the city and began to feel a bit like Carrie Bradshaw, but only now can I see why she would love the men there. They all seem driven, and honestly their were some of the most attractive men I’ve ever seen (I really dig a man in an Italian suit). The only thing I didn’t care for was the cost of everything. I might have spent a remarkable amount of money on drinks, and my bank account surely suffered, but I had the time of my life so who can really complain.

There are not enough words to explain how marvelous New York was. I loved it because of the liveliness and motivation the city seemed to breathe; overall, the atmosphere was very energetic and the people seemed to be incredibly hard working. Here, I don’t think anyone could ever be bored, for there is always something to see or somewhere to go. It was bright, it was loud, it was New York City. Like Frank Sinatra, I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps.

Written by: Nina Capuani