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Jul 31, 2012 3:02 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Who's Behind Guest Of A Guest?

Jul 31, 2012 4:30 PM

What is Guest of a Guest?

It’s the website that advised visitors to haul a 30-rack of beer to Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett, and it’s the one that named “six of Montauk’s best dive bars” in its Everything U Need 2 Know slot.

“Guest of a Guest Hamptons covers the People, Places & Parties out East; from the surf shacks in Montauk to the dunes of Westhampton Beach and all the parties in between, reported from a plank chair in the sand,” the social media site says.

Last week, the site shed light on celebrities, tennis frocks accessorized with half-foot-wedges, where to get the best Jell-O shots this summer, Ferraris at the fireworks, the Bridgehampton Polo scene, and how to travel from New York City to the Hamptons—including in a seaplane or on the good ole LIRR, which the writer called “a Boardy Barn on wheels.”

Is guestofaguest.com simply another outsider’s perspective on the South Fork that’s become so common during the season of hype?

Not exactly, according to Rachelle Hruska, who founded the website, which separately covers New York City, Los Angeles and Washington and is preparing to conquer Chicago next. Ms. Hruska answered the phone at her place at Ditch Plains in Montauk, where she’s had a house for five years. She’s married to Sean MacPherson, who owns the Crow’s Nest restaurant and has been surfing in Montauk for much longer than that. The two of them had their engagement party at Fishbar in Montauk. They had their wedding reception at Peter Beard’s house in Montauk. Their babysitter is a Montauk local.

“We’re definitely here to stay a while,” Ms. Hruska said.

“I want to really preface the whole thing by saying I know, in my heart of hearts, that people care more about their small little world than what the Kardashians are doing,” Ms. Hruska said. Her point was that she respects that.

Ms. Hruska may be a Manhattan transplant and part-time resident of the South Fork, but many of the young people who write for her Hamptons site are locally born and bred. Dena Silver, the editor, grew up in Sag Harbor and went to Pierson High School, as did Veronica Hoglund, a writer, before going to Tabor Academy. Another writer, Kirsten Judson, attended the Montauk School and the Ross School in East Hampton. Ms. Silver is a senior at Chapman College in California, Ms. Judson is going into her senior year at Emerson College in Boston and Ms. Hoglund is in her last year at the New School in New York City.

“Dena was with me last year and was with me in LA,” Ms. Hruska said. “All these girls that she has writing for us are from her high school days,” she said. “These girls go out to a party,” and Ms. Silver asks, “‘Hey, do you want to write for us?’”

Ms. Hruska said she was excited to get college kids excited again about writing, and that she’s found they rise nobly to the challenge if she gives them a lot of responsibility. “So far I’ve been genuinely surprised by the amount of work,” she said. “They’re having fun; they like the subject that they’re covering; they’re really creating something; they’re writing stories.”

“This summer, particularly, we have a lot of local writers,” Ms. Hruska said. “They know the landscape better.”

A reporter “who never knew that it used to be otherwise,” for instance, would never have noticed that over the last couple of summers Indian Wells Beach “is just like a giant party,” she said. “I really think it’s important to get to know the locals,” she said, “because I would never pretend to know what’s going on at Indian Wells.”

As for Montauk’s “dive bars,” Ms. Hruska said she talked over that story, too, in depth with the reporter before it went forward. “I really was, like, encouraging her,” she said.

“Right now Montauk is seeing this wave,” said Ms. Hruska, who calls it Montaukettburg to indicate the influence now felt from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “Now you see all these people you know from the city,” including what she described as wealthy hipsters. “I think there’s always a war between yuppies and hipsters,” she said. “Our site covers both.”

As for Montauk, she said, “it’s definitely going through something. You can fight it or say, that’s what’s happening. As a journalist, I’m more interested in the social anthropology.”

Ms. Hruska said she tells her writers, of their readers, “‘You have to understand that you’re really cool to them.’” The readers are trying to be cool and hip, she says, and they want to go to dive bars. “It’s cool to live in Brooklyn and go to dive bars,” she said.

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Oh man. I don't even know where to start. This website represents everything that is wrong with the Hamptons-- or the perceived notion of the Hamptons. And have you seen the photo galleries? It's like they gave a camera to an 8-year old. Actually, that's not fair to an 8 year old. They could probably take better pictures.
By johnj (1017), Westhampton on Aug 2, 12 11:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
What, you don't enjoy photos of people with popped collars and bad boob jobs spraying Champange on each other at brunch? ;)
By Tay (35), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 12 5:19 PM
That's definately what we need. A where to get drunk before 5pm guide.

By C Law (349), Water Mill on Aug 2, 12 11:39 AM
The real 'in the know people' go 'heavy boozing' at fellinghams at 8am.
By C Law (349), Water Mill on Aug 2, 12 11:41 AM
Hampton Bays Rotary, Autumn Evening by the Sea, Oakland's, HB Rotary