Locals Only is the Barneys New York equivalent of a vintage
clothing store. For 20 years owners Jim Olarte and Larry Craig have
preferred a minimalist display and carry what's in fashion in vintage
styles from the mid-1940s to mid-'70s. If peasant dresses are in,
turquoise or fur, you'll find them here. Surfwear designers from
Stussy, Billabong, Hang Ten Italy and Hollister Ranch shop here for
inspiration. An archive room in back serves as their resource; they
digitize hundreds of images of clothing. There's a selection of
Halston dresses, Hawaiian shirts, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and
Ferragamo accessories. Souvenir and rock 'n' roll T-shirts are
especially hot now. The store's display of vintage skin boards and
skateboards attracts a lot of attention. Even Bruce Weber
photographed them for an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog! Open from 11
a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at 664 S. Coast Highway. (949) 494-0022.
Come in and get framed
Need a special picture framed? Stop by The Art of Framing. In
addition to beautiful moldings and mats to choose from, it has a
print library where you can select from more than 5,000 images.
Choose from classic works of art to movie posters; then have it
framed for that right look in your home or office. Owner Mac Meehan
has a great eye for matching frames with art. Open from 10 a.m. to 5
p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at 1454
S. Coast Highway. (949) 464-0747
Rare shop offers rare fossils
Kristalle Natural History Gallery is one of Laguna's most unusual
stores specializing in minerals, rocks, fossils and rare shells.
"Most people have no idea what we have here," says manager
Stephanie Andrews. "About 10% of what we have upfront is polished
stone because most people can't relate to unpolished pieces."
Kristalle specializes in specimens in their natural state.
Minerals come from Pakistan, Poland, Peru, Spain, India, Peru and
Afghanistan. Rare pieces include: a 200-million-year-old dinosaur
track found in Massachusetts, and a 44-million- to
50-million-year-old sting ray fossil. Kristalle can accommodate all
budgets. Kids buy 50-cent tumbled stones, and collectors from all
over the world spend thousands on specimens. Open from 10:30 a.m. to
5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. 875 N
Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. (949) 494-7695.
Top bikes for all types of use
Owner Chuck Densford of Rainbow Bicycle Company says he probably
has the most popular bike shop in Orange County. People from all over
the world come here for sales, service and rentals. Top quality
mountain bikes rent for $20 to $35 a day, with free use of helmets.
Most people aren't aware that, thanks to Densford's involvement with
the Nature Conservancy, mountain biking wasn't banned at Crystal Cove
State Park and Laguna Coast Wilderness. Densford has a trail
assistance program, similar to a ski patrol, to help mountain bikers
who are lost or need repairs. Densford offers beginning mountain
biking rides too. Rainbow builds custom bikes and carries
high-quality beach cruisers, mountain bikes, tandems, BMX and
children's bikes, apparel, shoes and accessories. Open from 10 a.m.
to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at 485 N. Coast Highway. (949)
Follow the scent
The Art of Living is a home accessories store that's known for its
extensive candle selection. Candles can be special ordered and come
in scents like coco hazelnut, fig, spruce, tuberose, spicy vanilla
and sandalwood. Owner Simah Zareh chooses appealing gift items from
all over the world that are fresh and exciting. The selections
includes: Asian cabinets, lamps, iron candelabras, mirrors, frames,
clocks, cards, jewelry and first-rate silk flowers. Open from 10 a.m.
to 6 p.m. daily at 477 Forest Ave. (949) 376-0142.
around the world
Megusta! is a mix of home accessories that owner Kim Ward is drawn
to. Ward favors reproductions and antique furniture from China, Asian
prints, Burmese rattan boxes, trays and plates, Pashmina shawls and
Italian pottery. Exclusives in town are its colorful hand-blown
martini glasses from the Czech Republic and "Jewels" ethnic jewelry
that's also sold at Saks Fifth Avenue. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday through Monday at 658 S. Coast Highway. (949) 497-8481.
* BEST BUYS is a weekly feature of the Coastline Pilot. Send
information to Greer Wylder at greerwylder@ yahoo.com or P.O. Box 248
Laguna Beach, CA 92652.