SOUND: Buzz-a-Rama slot-car racing

Sound: Buzz-a-Rama slot-car racingIn a low-slung gray building on Church Avenue in Kensington, wedged between Dahill Halal Pizza and the Bengla Bazaar minimart, sits Buzz-a-Rama, the last remaining slot-car-racing storefront in the city. Five racetracks fill the room, their eight color-coded lanes turning and dipping and curling around the room like strips of colored taffy.

Buzz-a-Rama slot-car racing1The space, festooned with checkered racing flags, smells as it probably did when it first opened, in 1965, at the peak of the slot-car-racing craze: of ozone, from the sparks created when a car’s slots don’t connect properly with the track. The old-timers will tell you it’s the same smell produced by electric-train sets, something just as unfamiliar as the slot cars to their successors: the young drivers clustered around the track, small fists on their throttles, mesmerized by the sight before them.

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