This summer, Brooke Shaughnessy left her small town in Pennsylvania and was thrown into a world of celebrities, money and Botox.
“I’m from a Gilmore Girls type of place where fashion isn’t big,” said Shaughnessy, a junior at Hofstra University. “It’s basically a hick town.”
Shaughnessy, who is used to spending summers working in Allentown, P.A., moved into her family’s second house in East Quogue in order to work in Westhampton’s most upscale restaurants, Baby Moon and Starr Boggs. Baby Moon is a Sicilian eatery and Starr Boggs serves gourmet steak and fish. Both restaurants are located in the heart of the upscale town and are frequented by celebrities.
“It’s literally like coming from Crocs to Louis Vuitton,” Shaughnessy said.
The small town girl waitressed at Baby Moon and was a hostess at Starr Boggs, a five-star restaurant.
“At Starr Boggs I was basically the eye candy for the restaurant,” Shaughnessy said.
Within three months of working at the popular restaurants, Shaughnessy met Michael J. Fox, Tyra Banks, Eli Manning, the Winklevoss twins and many business moguls of Wall Street.
“Everyone wants to be seen at Starr’s,” Shaughnessy said. “It’s a place full of Botox and Bentleys.”
Shaughnessy worked with several aspiring actors and models who were trying to get a foot in the Hamptons’ door.
“I met a lot of great people who were just struggling to get by,” Shaughnessy said. “We were like on the outside looking in.”
Shaughnessy worked seven days a week in order to save money for her tuition and living expenses at Hofstra University.
“I wanted to save up because working during the school year gives me anxiety,” Shaughnessy said. “I just want to focus on schoolwork.”
The Hofstra junior pays for half her private university tuition, off-campus housing bills and cell phone.
Although she met new people and made connections in Westhampton, Shaughnessy does not want to be part of that world any time soon, she said.
“Sometimes I hope that I’ll be one of them,” Shaughnessy said. “But then again, it opened my eyes to a place where money is everything.”