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Because how you get there is the worthier part, right?

Cleo van der Veen's picture

For my co-op I recently started working at the Untited Nations Foundation in Washington, D.C. I thought I would share all the things that I enjoy on my way to work.

1. Butch and Sundance, the two adorable kitties. I stay with them and their wonderful humans Karen and Fritz. These furry fellas will climb, leap, play, and explore any time if the day or night. Finding one of them balancing on the sill above my door is not an uncommon sight.

2. Embassies. I pass many embassies on the way to work, like Uzbekistan, Chile, Trinidad, and Tobago, and last but not least, (for any diehard West Wing fans out there) the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia.

3. Union Station is where I catch the red line metro to Dupont Circle. Part train station, part shopping mall, I  always enjoy passing through this building. As a rule, there is always one tour group in the building at any one time, and on the weekends, two. Union Station is a pretty nice looking place to travel through every day, high marble ceilings, gold spiral staircases, you get the idea. It's fun to sit around and eat  a pastry for breakfast if if I have a minute or two to spare in the morning (its illegal to eat on the metro).

4. The Capitol. I can see the Capitol Building both when I go to work and when I come home, but my favorite time to see it is when I'm coming home. The arches of Union Station perfectly frame the Capitol as you exit, and it's probably my favorite sight of my commute home, right as the sun sets.

5. The D.C. Metro! The Metro stations In D.C. are notoriously nice. They are not only architecturally pleasing, but graffiti and litter are almost nonexistent. I read somewhere that the stations were designed with crime prevention in mind. I have no idea if its true. I just like the cool ceilings.

6. Fancy people running. Now, you haven't seen D.C until you see a train full of business people, fancy suits, uncomfortable shoes, leather briefcases, etc, SPRINT from the train up the escalators. It always amuses me, but this week I joined this crazy improvised track race. I was the person running up the escalator in a suit. If you ever find yourself in D.C. at around eight in the morning, you can watch this sight for yourself, but you better stand back, it's for trained professionals only (or those interning as trained professionals). Don’t even attempt to run up the Dupont Circle escalators, no seriously. I tried. I sincerely regretted it.

7. Cherry Blossoms! I had the pleasure of arriving in the middle of the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival. The blossoms constantly change colors, and while everyone raves about a walk around the Potomac River, I see plenty of the blossoms on my way to and from work. (They are quite the spectacle.)

8. Flowers . Okay, yeah, cherry blossoms are flowers too, so technically number 7 and number 8 are the same, but cherry blossoms are flowers on trees—right now I'm talking about flowers in the ground. This is probably due to my geographical origin, but I have never experienced this type of spring before. Flowers are blooming all over the place and I have no idea what their names are. I'm constantly taking pictures of these beautiful flora. The DuPont Circle Park recently exploded in beautiful red flowers.

9. The National Geographic Museum. My office is just across the street from the National Geographic Museum, which has a lovely little sculpture outside its doors that re-creates the watershed of a mountain range when it rains. I get to walk past it every day.

10. My office!Someone told me that The United Nations Foundation Offices on M Street used to be architectural offices before The UN Foundation came. I agree becasue I think that it looks like very swanky architecture office. I have a desk, a comfy chair, an awesome desk lamp, a computer, my very own desk phone, with my very own extension, and yes, thats right, a little sign with my name on it so that I don't forget how to spell it.

Thats all for now!

If you want to know more about anything or have any questions, please e-mail me at