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Get curious with Christine

Moorestown resident explores local attractions on her YouTube show

Special to The Sun

Moorestown resident Christine Ortega’s YouTube travel show, “The Town Tourist,” explores New Jersey’s unique attractions.

“You would be really, really surprised at what you can find right in your own town,” she said. “You don’t even have to travel that far in your own town, your own community, neighboring towns … Find something new. It’s surprising how much is out there that we live around every single day, and we’re kind of numb maybe to it …

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“Let’s get curious. Let’s check it out.”

Ortega recently earned a bachelor’s degree alongside her 19-year-old twins, and even made the honor roll with her daughter for the 2023 spring semester. In her senior year at Rowan University, she was tasked with creating something unique for her communications class project. She thought about all the things to do and see right in her own backyard. “The Town Tourist” focuses on South Jersey, specifically Burlington County.

“I liked the idea of using YouTube, because I can actually film something and kind of bring people into the experience a little bit more than if I had just done a blog with pictures,” Ortega explained. “I could also use my voice … I just thought, ‘This is kind of a way to tap back into what I used to do and pull that creativity out again, because I loved theater …

“I loved doing my voice-overs, I missed singing, so it was kind of like a way for me to get back to my roots, if you will.”

“The Town Tourist” debuted with a visit to Big Rusty the Troll in Hainesport, a 20-foot-tall sculpture built by recycled art activist Thomas Dambo out of industrial metal junk. Ortega’s second episode took viewers to Moorestown’s Flexible Flyer Museum, which she called a no-brainer.

“I could do probably eight episodes in Moorestown alone, because there’s so much in this town,” she noted. “It’s just so great with its history, the arts, the food, the community … It’s just a great, great place.”

Ortega recently traveled to the state’s Grover’s Mill to see the “War of the Worlds” monument that commemorates the infamous 1938 broadcast by Orson Welles that had Americans convinced the country was being invaded by aliens. The bronze marker is in a field in Van Nest Park, on the south side of Cranbury Road, just east of Clarksville Road.

“I have recreated the broadcast and I play both parts, and I think people are going to laugh …” Ortega related. “ … I just did the episode a little differently and I’m very excited to see how that gets received.”

Ortega is having fun exploring and learning new things, and she’s happy to see her show have that same impact on others.

“ … Hopefully we’re putting a great spotlight on these unique attractions in towns and hopefully it’ll bring more tourism,” she said. “ … Even if I just get a couple of people to come out and help the town out, and maybe that person then goes to a restaurant or they go shopping in that town …

“I’m hoping at least I’m putting this out there and people are benefiting from it in a good way.”

“The Town Tourist” brought Ortega out of her shell and she’s proud of all that she has going on.

“I feel empowered and I’m starting to really appreciate that what I’ve done is a huge accomplishment and I shouldn’t be embarrassed about it,” she acknowledged. “I should just be proud of myself.”


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