Kim Vereem, the manager of Color Me Mine, stands in the storefront. Color Me Mine moved to the Southside in the hope of attracting more foot traffic. (Theodora Chacharone/BW Staff)

Stroll around the neighborhood: Questions on the street


The Brown and White spoke to both former and current residents in South Bethlehem about their time in the community. Whether it’s the amount of time they’ve lived here, their favorite part of their week, or just the general atmosphere, community members all recount something about the Southside they hold close to their hearts.

Norman Matthews is the owner of Dinky’s Ice Cream Parlor. Matthews started the business in 2012 with his wife, Jill Matthews. (Theodora Chacharone/BW Staff)

Norman Matthews 

Owner of Dinky’s Ice Cream Parlor

Q: How was Dinky’s established?

NM: I was a truck driver years ago, and with (my wife), we started the one up in Bangor. She gave me a little book that said ‘Norm’s Ideas,’ on it, to start writing down ideas. And the first one was an ice cream shop.

Q: What’s your favorite part about operating Dinky’s?

NM: Being able to work with my wife, and getting to see all of the new faces, all of the kids — I didn’t have any daughters. I have two boys. But, working with my wife every day, seeing her. Some of it’s a challenge sometimes, because husband and wife (argue sometimes), but we get along pretty good.

Q: What was the happiest moment of your week?

NM: I got to go see my buddy John De Rosa play at Asbury Park last night – att the Wonder Bar. Oh, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, they all played right there. And there’s two places next to each other where they used to play all the time.

Mark Schroettner, a Southside ambassador, stands on E. Third St. Schroettner has lived in Bethlehem his whole life, but both of his parents are immigrants from Europe. (Theodora Chacharone/BW Staff)

Mark Schroettner 

Southside Ambassador

Q: How long have you lived here on Bethlehem’s Southside?

MS: I’ve been living here almost all my life. My dad came over here from Hungary. My mother came from Germany. So all the immigrants came here because we have the steel. And then I decided to do this kind of work right here because I like to help out with people in the area and so forth.

Q: What was the happiest moment of your week?

MS: I spent time with my mom. It was good seeing her.

Kim Vereem, the manager of Color Me Mine, stands in the storefront. Color Me Mine moved to the Southside in the hope of attracting more foot traffic. (Theodora Chacharone/BW Staff)

Kim Vereem 

Manager of Color Me Mine

Q: How did Color Me Mine find its way to Southside Bethlehem?

KV: Well, the store owner, she was looking for a new location that was a little bit more foot traffic ready. When you go to the Promenade, it’s like, there’s so much going on there. There’s so many stores that have so much to do. She wanted something in a more artsy district, which it’s actually been a blessing to be in the Southside, our sister, because we get to work with all these wonderful businesses around here that do the same thing that we do, and we’re all about entertainment and having fun and creating a great space.

Q: What was the happiest moment of your week?

KV: A little girl gave me a handwritten card today. That’s everything.

Q: What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?

KV: Hearing someone say, That’s not the right color,’ for a piece. For example, if a kid picked up a giraffe and they wanted to paint it purple and teal or something, hearing someone say like, ‘Oh, that’s not, you know, you should do this,’ or something. I get a little… I have to bite my tongue.

Q: What is something new you want to try this year?

KV: I have been thinking about going snowboarding, maybe up at like Blue Mountain or something. I’ve never tried it before and a couple of my friends do it. So I’m like, “Yeah, I might tag along on the trip.”

Claire Curtin, an employee at F&A Grog House sits in a booth in the restaurant. She has worked with Grog House since December 2021, and appreciates the team atmosphere. (Theofora Chacharone/BW Staff)

Claire Curtin 

F&A Grog House employee

Q: How long have you worked here at Grog House? And how do you like it?

CC: Since December, I think. I love it. Everyone hears like family – kind, very nice, respectful, understanding. I just think it definitely feels like a team environment. It’s so crazy on the weekends, but we help each other out.

Q: What was the happiest moment of your week?

CC: It was seeing my friend who’s a cook here and I’m just seeing Nikki for the first time in a long time so it’s nice to see her face here. I also just drove from Massachusetts to see a friend, so that was cool.

Q: What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?

CC: As people that are, like, disrespectful or inconsiderate of others. Being a server, you can kind of see that. 

Q: What is something new you want to try this year?

CC: Honestly, my friend from Massachusetts likes dirt bikes, so probably trying to dirt bike or do something. I’m usually pretty timid when it comes to adventurous things. So probably giving that a try. 

Tiana Riccardi, a local Bethlehem resident, shops in the Taylor Family Fuel & Mini Marts. Riccardi has recently been exlporing Buddhism, in attempt to find enlightenment. (Theodora Chacharone/BW Staff)

Tiana Riccardi 

Bethlehem resident

Q: What was the happiest moment of your past week?

TR: Just getting into Buddhism, I’m trying to become a better person. I’m finding the path of enlightenment. It’s actually helping, I’ve started meditating. And I just felt a calmness come over me. I made mala beads, which is like a Buddhist rosary, and it helps you meditate, and it’s been going really well. I’ve been a lot healthier and happier because it just helps with your anxiety, and what else? Your sleep? Definitely. I’ve been sleeping a lot better. And also your mood.

Q: What’s something new that you want to try this year?

TR: Well, with Buddhism, it’s really about being good not only for yourself, but also for others. So I want to try to volunteer for something. I haven’t figured out what but I want to start volunteer work. There should be a lot of opportunities — something with the environment, or something with animals, or with people. I know there’s more to life than just the mundane. I get up, I go to work and then I come home and there’s got to be something else and I’m missing out on an opportunity somewhere where I can better something, so I want to try.

Comment policy

Comments posted to The Brown and White website are reviewed by a moderator before being approved. Incendiary speech or harassing language, including comments targeted at individuals, may be deemed unacceptable and not published. Spam and other soliciting will also be declined.

The Brown and White also reserves the right to not publish entirely anonymous comments.

Leave A Reply