Stroll Around the Neighborhood: What brings you to the area?


The Brown and White spoke to community members about voting in the upcoming election and what they wish they could change about the South Side.

Joe Caiazzo, Campus Pizza Owner

Q: What brings you to the South Side?

 Joe Caiazzo: We are a staple. We’ve been here since 1979. We’ve been here for a while. Between the university and all the culture that is around us, I think the South Side is a fun place to be right now. 

Q: Did you grow up here?

 JC: Yes, I grew up in this area, and I live here.

Q: What is one thing you wish more people knew about you? 

JC: Jeez, that’s a good question. I like to do woodworking. So, I guess it’s a hobby of mine that I would let people who get to know me know.

Q: If you could change one thing about the South Side, what would it be? 

JC: I feel like probably more police presence at night. I feel I don’t see as many cops driving around that I used to see, being here since ‘79 when my father started (Campus Pizza). So, I grew up in this. I feel like I saw a lot more (police presence). 

Q: Are you planning to vote in the upcoming election? Do you feel like a lot of people are on the South Side? 

JC: Primaries, I do. I vote every time. But most of the time people don’t vote in primaries. Midterms and primaries, people tend to skip. But, I do vote all the time. I am a first-generation Italian-American, so voting is a big deal. My father is an immigrant, my mother is an immigrant. Having the right to vote is a big deal in my family. I should say a majority of my family votes every election. I think it’s a privilege that people don’t realize they have, more or less. 

Abigail, Malissa and Andrea Rivera, sisters and North Side Residents

Q: What brings you to the South Side?

Malissa Rivera: We’re just walking through. We’re going to go to Playa Bowls, but we wanted to walk because it’s nice out. Our parents are at CTown (Supermarket) right now.

Q: Did you grow up on the South Side?

MR: No, we grew up in Brooklyn, New York. We live on the North Side. My parents wanted us to get a better education and we grew up in the projects kind of, so it was rough. So, you know, coming to the suburbs was so much better, just to have a better lifestyle. 

Q: If you could change one thing about the South Side, what would it be?

MR: I would add more stores, things to do in general. More parks, and stuff like that. Because growing up in New York, we’d be like: ‘Let’s go to Prospect Park, let’s go to Central Park,’ not even going very far, just a train ride away or just across the bridge, there’s always something. So if there were more things here to do, that would be nice.

Q: Are you planning to vote in the upcoming election?

MR: I might. I’m not sure. I’m thinking about it. But yeah, I might.

Béla Hatch III, former South Side Resident, and dog Buck

Q: What brings you to the South Side?

Béla Hatch III: I’m here watching (Buck) and house sitting. We live on the northern tier of the state up in Potter County. I have a medical marijuana grow up in the northwest corner of the county up there. But really good friends of ours when we were living here, years ago, they have (Buck) and he’s my buddy. So whenever they go on vacation — they’re in Portugal now — I come down and watch him for them, sit the house and everything. My wife and I, we enjoy it. 

Q: Did you and your wife live in Bethlehem for a period of time?

BH: At one time we did, yeah. I was going through physical therapy for a really bad nerve injury I got in my neck. There weren’t any facilities up in our area at the time that were close. I had family down here, so I just came here. I had to be here for two and a half years, I had three surgeries and a bunch of physical therapy. Yeah, it was fun. But at least I got to stay with family. My sister has since retired and moved out west to where her two twin daughters are.

Q: Did you live on the South Side?

BH: Yes, we did. Right up on Evans Street in the townhouses that are there. The first one, third unit. The nice ones that are manicured and cleaned up nice. 

Q: If you could change one thing about the South Side, what would it be?

BH: They need to give it a facelift. Especially when you get east of here, a little further east of here. When you’re driving along Fourth (Street) there, it’s such a difference. Or Third (Street) you know, you look up into that area. It’s not that horrible or anything, but it’s really aged and it needs to just get brightened up a bit. Because look at what we’re doing on this side. I mean, it’s amazing how this side has built up even since we’ve been gone. They need to do something that brightens up the rest of that, put a better look on it. I was a general contractor all my working days, so those things catch my eye right away, and I say: “Could that use this? Or could that use that?”

Q: Are you planning to vote in the upcoming election?

BH: I am not, because I’m a little bit perturbed with politics right now. I’m an old fella, and I was raised in (a rural area). I’m not conservative by any stretch because too much of that is like the Bible thumping folks, and I’m not a huge fan of religion either. I grew up in a fundamentalist religion, so it left a real bad taste in my mouth growing up, and it’s been hard for me to try to convert to anything else either. That’s why that is.

Joe Buser, South Side Resident, and dog Bentley

Q: What brings you to the South Side?

Joe Buser: I live here, I’ve been here for about three and a half years now. I’m originally from New Jersey.

Q: What motivated you to move the South Side?

JB: A number of different things. Lifestyle, I belong to a country club over here so, I play golf. And I work from home too, which is awesome. I have for the last 15 years pretty much. That’s why I’ve got (Bentley) so I can take him out and enjoy him.

Q: What is something you wish more people knew about you?

JB: That I’m conscientious, generous, kind. 

Q: If you could change one thing about the South Side, what would it be?

JB: I don’t know, I mean it’s really developing right now. Maybe a couple more restaurants and activities down here on the South Side?

Q: Are you planning to vote in the upcoming election?

JB: Yes. When I voted over at the church, it wasn’t really that busy, so I don’t know with the community how engaged people are in terms of voting. But that’s our right, we should go out and vote. That’s part of being a U.S. citizen, right?

Ivy Kromer, Country Club Brewing Co-owner

Q: What brings you to the South Side?

Ivy Kromer: It was just a very convenient location with the Greenway here. My husband is a brewer, so the water was very important. Bethlehem water is very good for brewing beer. So, very little that we have to do to purify it, I guess you could say. We’re not open yet. Working on getting it done and getting our permits and stuff. So, a couple weeks before we get open.  

Q: Do you live in Bethlehem? 

IK: No, we actually live in Allentown. 

Q: If you could change one thing about the South Side, what would it be?

IK: I know parking is a big issue. So if there was more parking, it would be wonderful. But, I am not from here. 

Q: What made you decide to start your business?

IK: My husband homebrewed, so it was a hobby. Then, he actually did well with it, and people liked it. We did Allentown BeerFest and he won a couple first-place awards. So, he wanted to take his hand at running a business. So, here we are trying to get it done.

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