The BP station at 47th and Woodlawn is full up. There are cars hooked up at all the pump stations, both sides and an unruly line waiting to get their turn. Most folks pay at the pump but there’s a cluster up at the register hidden behind grimy bullet proof glass; customers drop their bills, then pluck cigarettes and junk food from the drawer sliding in and out of the white brick hut and go on with their lives.
Here in North Kenwood – just like in Hyde Park and Bronzeville – BP stations dot the landscape, each of them crowded with cars: Camaros and Caravans, Camrys and Sebrings, Cavaliers and Taurus, even a Cadillac deVille or two.
In other words, nearly two months into BP’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf, and in spite of boycott calls from Ralph Nader and a zillion environmental and political groups, it’s business as usual at BP’s flagship stations in my neighborhood.
“Man, where else am I gonna go?” says a young man as he shoves the nozzle into the side of his Honda Accord.
And it’s true that, for a Citgo on 39th and a Mobil on 53rd, it’s BP after BP after BP around here.