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3-HOUR TOUR

Quaint Meter Hits Upscale in Art, Food at Newport's Lido Marina

August 05, 1993|ANNE MICHAUD | Anne Michaud is a staff writer for The Times Orange County Edition.

If you took the quaint meter and turned it toward upscale, you'd have a sense of the atmosphere at Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach.

The village is paved in warm red brick; cafe-style restaurants line the dock.

Along those streets are more than 20 boutiques selling clothes, perfume, art and more art. By the dock, you can purchase a yacht or simply rent a ride.

Noon to 1: The Lido Greek is a popular weekday hang-out for people from Greece--so you know the food must be authentic. Greek music pours from inside its wide doors, which are opened onto the dock, and the man behind the counter sometimes sings along.

If it's a nice day, you'll want to choose one of the outdoor tables.

The menu has some basic American dishes--hot dogs and hamburgers. And some of the dishes span the divide between Greek and American. The oasis burger, for example, is topped with feta cheese and a slice of gyro meat for $4.95.

The Greek dishes here are the best, though. Among them are the gyro sandwich ($3.95), spanakopita (filo filled with spinach and feta for $4.25), and Athenian salad (lettuce, onion, cucumber and feta, $4.50).

1 to 1:30: Marcel's collection of sculpture and furniture is evidence of a strange, but likable, imagination.

Draped in one corner is a tiger rug, complete with head and claws. Atop a small table, a bronze woman balances a globe on her feet. The globe lights up and serves as a lamp.

Another table holds four horsemen of solid bronze, riding furiously. The price tag says the horsemen have been marked down from $7,000 to $2,250. That may be a bargain to some collector, but be warned: Marcel's is not cheap.

1:30 to 1:45: Raj Parfumerie is like a one-joke movie. The shop sells perfume and little else.

But it's worth stopping in if you've had trouble finding a particular perfume. If Raj doesn't have it, they will order it for you. And the prices are less, the shop claims, than department stores charge.

1:45 to 2: Clown masks, clown dolls, clown paintings, clown statuettes. Everything clown is at Pagliacci.

The shop defines clown broadly, too. You'll find the fright-wig clown, and the elegant court jester dressed in satin.

Along one wall are pictures of broadcasting's clowns: Lucille Ball, Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges and Charlie Chaplin.

Pagliacci is now featuring Red Skelton in a special display. There are paintings of Skelton, covers of TV Guide that featured his face, and photos.

2 to 2:20: It's hard to say enough nice things about the Lido Book Shoppe. It has a broad collection of newspapers from the United States and around the world. The magazine rack is extensive too, and goes into depth: There are nine magazines about guitars, for example, and 27 on boats.

The Shoppe carries unusual titles that you won't find at a Crown Books or a Bookstar. And staff members choose their favorites and attach recommendation cards to them. "Wonderful, engrossing . . . ," Irma writes about Susan Miller's latest.

2:20 to 2:40: The Gregory Gallery is the Village's whimsical art shop.

In one painting here, a giant orange cat sprawls and blocks traffic in New York's Times Square.

In another, a very serious study of yellow and brown mums, two pink and blue cartoon bunnies cavort around the vase.

Local subjects find a home here too. There are paintings of the Cannery restaurant and the Crab Cooker, both of which are Newport Beach landmarks.

2:40 to 3: On the more traditional side is Lido Art Dimensions Gallery.

There are studies of boats here--boats docked, sailboats cruising, boats rocked by waves. Paintings of golf courses are also well represented.

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