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Reading, following and posting to blogs is a blast. But sometimes you have to leave cyberspace and sit down over lunch and chat. You know — real chat.

That’s what we did with the creator of a fast-growing blog many of us at Chapman follow, “I Heart Old Towne Orange,” the brainstorm of Orange resident Kelly Borgen. Since it debuted four months ago, “I Heart” has attracted, at last count, 3,863 fans on Facebook and gets about 3,000 monthly blog views.

“I love the idea of community and I love this community,” says Borgen, 35, who lives just a block or so outside the official Old Towne boundaries with her husband and two children.

Borgen’s
blog
is a friendly and newsy compilation of all things Old Towne, from new restaurants to profiles of local merchants. Recent posts have ranged from Father’s Day shopping tips to a story on the hand-crafted artisan lamps of Jeff Fazio, an adjunct professor at Chapman whose work is sold at Copperwood Artware.

She also opens her blog to the there-goes-the-neighborhood discussion that bubbles up as the community’s retail and restaurant demographic changes.

“There are two very opposing sides,” between veteran and newcomer merchants, she says. “To me it’s part of the evolution of Old Towne. I try to have an open mind and do try to pay attention to everyone. I don’t want to become the ranter of Old Towne.”

But she will take sides if food is involved. While she’s a devoted Old Towne booster, Borgen doesn’t shy from posting a less-than-glowing restaurant review if something isn’t up to par. With that in mind, we asked her for the honest skinny on some of her personal favorites  in the neighborhood, foody and otherwise.

  • Best cup ‘o Joe? “Kimmie’s Coffee Cup. I love their coffee.”
  • Best beer? “The white ale on tap at Haven Gastropub. It’s awesome.”
  • Best entertainment? “All the movies, concerts and musicals at Chapman. I love going to the film screenings at Dodge.”
  • Best place to let the kids run? “The (Atallah) Fountain at Chapman. Once we get on campus my son knows how to get there on his scooter.”
  • Best window-shopping storefront? “The Victoria Co. on South Glassell. She always has flags and tons of stuff outside.”

For more of Borgen’s takes on the food, drink, shops and people of Old Towne, link directly to her
blog
where she posts weekly or follow her on
Facebook
where she adds several tidbits daily. Better yet, stroll through Old Towne and look for the tall blonde blogging on her i-Phone. Then you can really chat.