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.
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
where she posts weekly or follow her on
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.
One of the coolest things about Kelly is her accessibility, openness and passion for what she does. After discovering her fan page on FB, then reading her blog post, I reached out to her, introduced myself and we met for coffee soon thereafter!
Flip side….one of the coolest things about social media is the interaction and actual meeting of a person in real life. As an social media junkie, Orange Senior Center advocate and resident myself, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a new friend who shares similar passions of reaching out to our community. Thanks for sharing a great, great article!
We were also wowed by Kelly’s enthusiasm. We hear she might start coffee walks. Double the energy!
I met with Kelly soon after she found out that I was opening a gluten free/dairy free specialty food store in Old Towne Orange. She then put up my info on her “I Heart Old Towne Orange” facebook page. It was great to meet someone with such passion and support for Old Towne. Thank you and keep up the great work, Kelly!