Buzz-A-Rama New York

Image by ghdunbar

Buzz-A-Rama – Intense Americana

The US Baby Names database indicates that over the last 100 years the number of newborns named BUZZ is just over 200.

Averaging 2 per year then, one could say one of them was walking on the moon while the other, Buzz Perri, was opening Buzz-A-Rama in Brooklyn’s Kensington neighborhood, now a Bangladeshi enclave offering pakora and samosa on every block. Mmmmmm….

Buzz Aldrin’s moon walk is long gone, but Buzz-A-Rama is still revving.

In the 1960s, the hottest game/toy in America was this form of car racing—called ‘slots’—the racers being motor-driven, remote-controlled fast toy cars. They go so fast it is tricky just keeping them on their tracks, or slots.

The shop had just opened when I was there on Saturday, and minutes later there were 8 or 10 boys (and few parents) zooming miniature racing cars around one of the 5 or 6 beautifully swooping racecourses Buzz installed back in 1965. All components are original to that period, including the power supplies, scoreboards, tracks and I dare say the decor, as well.

What is in short supply is the thick, rich Brooklyn accent exemplified in the speech of US politician/contender Bernie Sanders who grew up in Flatbush, only blocks away.

The accent is politely described these days as “linguistic insecurity” as it is thought to be detrimental to hierarchical advancement. To me, it is valuable evidence of ‘street cred’ and a working-class life experience. But, as Bernie notes, there is no working class—the middle class—anymore.

But, Buzz and Dolores, owners, have not been held back.

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Details about this spot



Church Avenue 69, New York

Telephone number


Opening Times

Sat 13:30 - 19:00, Sun 13:30 - 17:00


1/2 hour: US$ 10


Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)