A stroll around the neighborhood


The Brown and White spoke to both former and current residents in the South Side Bethlehem area about the things they love most about the community. Whether it’s their favorite restaurant, an event, or just the general atmosphere, community members all recount something about the South Side that they hold close to their hearts. 

Jimmy Leguillou, former South Bethlehem resident

“I lived here for seven years. Me and my wife liked this place because it’s always been nice and quiet. People are very nice here. Where I live now, people are not very friendly, but I’m a friendly person. It’s hard when you live in a place where people are just for themselves. Over here I knew a lot of people. I met a lot of people.” 

Jimmy Leguillou lived in South Bethlehem for seven years. He said people are more friendly here in Bethlehem vs. where he lives now. (Gabi Falk / B&W Staff)

Caroline Drago (left), Sabrina Younes (right), OraSure quality control employees

Drago: “I’ve only been working here for one week but so far I really like it. I plan on moving here in the next couple of months.”

Younes: “I’ve been here for a year. I like it, I like the food around here. My favorite restaurant is U & Tea.” 

Caroline Drago (left) and Sabrina Younes (right) are employees at OraSure Technologies. Younes has lived in Bethlehem for a year and Drago plans to move in the next few months. (Gabi Falk / B&W Staff)

Alicia John, C-Town customer and five year South Bethlehem resident 

“I loved Ahart’s. It’s closure affected me real bad because I liked shopping there from Fountain Hill. Now we have to come here. I’ve lived here for 5 years. I love it, especially Musikfest. I go to the casino sometimes. I’m not too good on Allentown and Easton, but I like Bethlehem.”

Alicia John has lived in Bethlehem for five years. She prefers Bethlehem over Easton and Allentown. (Gabi Falk / B&W Staff)

John Smith, retired Lehigh history professor and 34 year South Side resident 

“I retired at the end of last semester. Since retirement I’ve been spending time with my granddaughter who also lives here. I’ve lived in South Bethlehem for 34 years. It’s improved a lot since the days of steel. When the steel mill closed in 1995, there wasn’t a whole lot going on here. Now with the restaurants, the music, ArtsQuest, there’s a lot going on here. I love all the restaurants. It’s just a good place to live. I raised both my children here. One of them decided to come back. She could’ve gone anywhere, but she chose to come back here.”

John Smith is a retired Lehigh history professor. He has lived in South Bethlehem for 34 years. (Gabi Falk / B&W Staff)

Brenda Grow, Bethlehem Area Public Library South Side Branch librarian of 25 years

“I most enjoy helping the public. It’s a good job to have. The interaction, getting to know people. Residents used to come in to borrow DVDs, access the internet if they didn’t have it at home, but they’re just not coming in the way they did before the pandemic, which is kind of scary to me.”

Brenda Grow has been a librarian at the Bethlehem Area Public Library South Side Branch for 25 years. She said residents are not coming in to the library as much as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. (Gabi Falk / B&W Staff)

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