The Tip Post

Chapter 4: Of practices Manly

By way of lamenting Langhorne’s presumed passing, the Call went on to describe his one and only heir: “Where the (apparently) late Lord Langhorne was robust of appetite and rotund of figure, his son, Nigel, 21, is pale of visage and gaunt of corpus and given to utterances far too easily swallowed by a quiet room, which is precisely where the lad resides, in the gloaming of his subterranean apartments in the depths of his pater’s magnificent manse. One would be forgiven to presume Langhorne fils to be consumptive, but alas the condition may be far more complex.”

Apparently, not long after, Nigel snapped out of it, transforming his inheritance, The Typpler’s Golden Goblet & Goat, into The Tip [sic], San Francisco’s first known gay bar — evidently that complex condition the reporter ascribed to him serving as a period euphemism for the love that dare not speak its name.

Turns out this pale acorn did not actually fall so far from the tree. Indeed, Nigel Langhorne would become as celebrated — and as seminal — in his circles as Lord Lucky was in his. And as related in his diary (enshrined at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library), it was surprising even to Nigel how those circles turned out to overlap (some of his dad’s bigshot buddies, it seems, returned to the reconfigured scene with a renewed gusto).

The Tip expanded into adjacent buildings until it had become a vast, multi-level phantasmagoria of drag queens, proto-leather boys, pitchers, switchers, catchers and all manner of men and manly practices that would ultimately enliven an entire downtown city block. And not long after a prospector discovered glittering yellow flecks in his pan at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, the Tip would explode with newly enriched miners prospecting for hot comfort from the Sierra’s solitary cold.

In San Francisco, thanks to Nigel Langhorne, the Gay Nineties started four decades early — not to mention the gay ‘70s, ’80s and beyond.

Previous · Chapter 3
The goat of the Embarcadero

Next · Chapter 5
Highlights of the Hartman collection

Work + News

SweeTARTS' Be Both is back

After the sweet success of last year’s 'Be Both' launch, SweeTARTS is doubling down on the campaign to Gen Z with brand new work in market now — and more to come in 2021.

Nicotine = Brain Poison = Clio

Our work for CTCP has awakened parents to the teen vaping epidemic and won a slew of awards in the process (not nearly as important, but nice). The latest is that most venerable of ad accolades: the Clio.

SGX NYC | #hairgoals

SGX NYC wanted to increase awareness around winning two Allure Best of Beauty Awards and reinforce the brand’s positioning with cost-conscious consumers looking for premium products. We hit the bullseye with three well-known #hairgoals influencers.

Citi | “Citigrammers”

Citi wanted to increase awareness and favorability on social media, particularly within the music and dining categories. We assembled a team of influential visual artists to create the sort of shareable content the brand couldn't.

Million-dollar talent from Upwork

To support COVID-19 projects, Upwork is donating a million dollars of time from their network of independent professionals. And who better to tell us about it than the pros themselves?

e.l.f. Cosmetics | Coachella

e.l.f. wanted to launch Beauty Shield, an all-new skincare line powered with antioxidants and SPF to help protect your skin against environmental aggressors. DCLA provided the perfect testing ground.

Cotteleer in Campaign US

DC’s chief experience officer speaks with Campaign about the virtual world and how COVID-19 has actually brought DC’s SF and LA offices closer.

Empowering the pandemic parent

Amy, along with our CEO Andy, talking to MediaPost about the agency’s support plan for working parents suddenly at home with kids.


Loyalty or discount program advertising often dwells in the downscale world of the coupon clipper — a turnoff to savvier online shoppers. Our strategy was to present Rakuten as every bit as premium as the brands it offered rebates on.


While the competition focused on transaction and technology, Grubhub really understood the near magical moment that occurs when the “food’s here.”

California Tobacco Control Program | Social Smoking

Daily smoking has been on the decline for decades and yet casual smoking is actually on the rise. How do we get at-risk groups to see social smoking for what it is: plain old dangerous, unhealthy smoking.

Cotteleer talks COVID-19 in Adweek

As we seek to chart our way through the uncharted, DC’s Amy Cotteleer shares her thoughts on brands’ best course of action during the pandemic.