The summer in buzz


A canary informs us that the family of departed mobster John Gotti is confident the Teflon Don’s 17-year-old grandson, also named John, will be accepted at Harvard this December.

His mother, Victoria Gotti, is already kvetching over her Cambridge cugine, whose early application isn’t due until Nov. 1. “I have a middle son who is going to Harvard to study law,” Victoria told The Toronto Star last month, jumping the not-so-proverbial gun. Asked to clarify, a spokesman for the family told Gadfly that Gotti has squared away his SATs and will formally apply to the College in time to be considered for early action.

The young Gotti is already something of a national hit, having eschewed, it would seem, the family business in favor of reality television. His perversely entertaining show on A&E;, “Growing Up Gotti,” features John and his brothers (a.k.a. “the Hotti Gottis”) living with their mother in the shadow of the Cosa Nostra. But let’s hope Bill Fitzsimmons happened to miss episode three this summer, when John called his mother a “bitch” during an argument over an unauthorized tattoo memorializing his grandfather. Yes, that grandfather.

—Zachary M. Seward


Ever since that whole “meritocracy” thing happened, true-blueblood Ivy Leaguers have had to use sartorial means to identify one another in a crowd. You know the drill: Brooks Brothers oxford button-down, ribbon belt, tweed jacket and—for the more sporting chap—a pastel Lacoste polo, collar upturned. But wait a second—weren’t half the people in your Tuesday morning Gov class wearing the exact same thing? Welcome to campus style, 2004: Retro preppy is in, and if the morning traffic across the Yard last week didn’t prove it, check out the recent New York Times fashion piece on the style of the “Yale Man.” This year both genders are getting in on the act, exchanging spaghetti straps and hoodies for colorful polos and cable-knit sweaters. For Harvard, it’s 1954 all over again, only with more women, minorities, and Jews.

So how does a Brearley Beaver recognize her Hotchkiss hubby when surrounded by a veritable sea of argyle? To spot the old-school WASP in a crowd of drones, look for the traits you can’t buy in J. Crew: a hint of lockjaw, an enviable air of aloofness, and a faint crease of contempt around the eyes. If all else fails, check the nametag: if it says Wigglesworth, you’ve got yourself genuine prep.

—Michael M. Grynbaum


CourtTV’s live coverage of the Alexander Pring-Wilson murder trial has focused squarely on one angle: the divergent backgrounds of Pring-Wilson and his victim, Michael Colono. In the process, the network’s anchors have discovered every possible euphemism for “Hispanic”—our favorite was a pointed reference to Colono’s black headband—and even spent time last week ruminating on the possible effect of the hyphen in Pring-Wilson’s last name.

But it was CourtTV’s James Curtis who really put it all in perspective with this undeniably true statement: “When Colono crossed paths with a Harvard student, it wasn’t for a tutoring session.”

No shit—it was for a stabbing.

—Zachary M. Seward


Is Weezer’s frontman more of an assman? According to his profile, Harvard undergrad-cum-rock star-cum-Harvard undergrad Rivers Cuomo is an officer of the group Harvard Ghetto Booties, currently holding the title of “bootie holly” (yuk yuk). The group’s first-year founder provided Gadfly with some, er, backstory: