BP Helios House: Los Angeles, CA

A quick look at a highly controversial oil and gas company’s colorful station in Los Angeles — BP Helios House

In my summary post for LA, I lied. Or more accurately, I misremembered. My first time in LA was actually an unplanned outing that was triggered by my friends in the food industry who were craving ramen. They said they’ve had it once, and eversince then, none of the ramen shops in San Diego would do for them anymore.

I have had much better ramen since but at the time, it felt like a great welcome after enduring San Diego’s mostly crappy dining choices. The ramen was soupy, Thai spicy (which is definitely not how most Japanese enjoy their ramen if my later experiences are to be gauged), and most importantly, cheap. Also, I later found out the small shop has been featured on Man vs. Food so my bias against your television sensationalizing places that are far from being the best is coming into play here of course. In fact, I have been so far removed from that experience I almost forgot about it. Although last night, I did have the pleasure of enjoying another big bowl of my favorite ramen in NYC so far — a great ramen roundup is definitely in order.

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BP Helios House
8770 W Olympic Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90035 [map]

We needed gas on the way back to San Diego and wouldn’t you know it, we happened upon this really futuristic-looking gas station which we all agreed looked pretty neat. I don’t remember ever learning the name but a quick search of “colorful gas stations” just now pointed to BP Helios House where BP’s marketing group was really trying to sell us to the fact that this was going to be more environmentally-friendly than your typical gas station. The company tries to explain why but if you spend some time in California, you do get the sense that everyone’s feeling a certain pressure to take up a “cause” or more tritely, an allergy or a fake intolerance to something (the next thing you know, Miley Cyrus is claiming gluten intolerance as a dietary trend).

Colorful ATM.

Neon ATMs, everyone.

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A farther view of the station.

Rather than actually getting educated on issues that I hope more people would care about, every visible and influential figure is out there playing with activism and representing a cause to make it “sexy.” So the trendy yet educated people of Los Angeles are pretty much biting BP’s head off on what they feel is an act of fraud. I don’t hold the answers and if the scientists are to be believed, none of what we do to prevent the Earth from collapsing actually matters all that much. We may be a little too late but who knows, maybe some of us will save this planet yet. *deep heavy sighs*

Buckle up, there will be a lot of driving.

So how is it that a planned colorful post took a dark turn again? Whatever, you’re dealing with a curmudgeon here and I just cannot gloss over anything to please everyone. Still, in my best Angeleno impression, “have a nice day, you guys!”

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