FRIDAY


Lodging
"My favorite hotel is The St. Regis. It's very much old New York. It was built for John Jacob Astor for his friends from out of town. It's got his stamp all over it. It's done in a grand style, but it's not overwhelmingly big. It's kind of classical, very comfortable, very welcoming. A lot of the appointments and decor are European in style, but it also has that old New York feeling to it. It's Midtown, it's convenient, and there are a lot of great things to do in the area."
     
Dinner
"Right across the street from Carnegie Hall is Fontana di Trevi. It was one of the places I was thinking of when I wrote the song 'Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.' I used to go there from time to time and I couldn't always get a table for dinner. Then I played Carnegie Hall back in the early '70s and it was sold-out for like three nights. They had a big poster of me outside the hall. I went across the street to Fontana di Trevi and asked the maitre d' for a table. He said, 'Oh, no, no. I'm sorry, we are booked.' So I said, 'Do you see that poster?' He said, 'Yeah.' And then he looked at me and said, 'Oh, my god. You know, we just happen to have a table.' One surefire way to get a table in New York City is to sell out Carnegie Hall."

Nightlife
"The St. Regis has the great King Cole Bar & Lounge. One time, when I was staying at The St. Regis, I was at the bar with Mel Gibson. We're drinking, and there's a piano. Mel says, 'Why don't you play some songs.' So we're singing these standards. There were about four tourists from Kansas just sitting there watching this three-hour performance by Billy Joel and Mel Gibson with their jaws dropped. I looked at my watch and I said, 'It's 3 o'clock. Mel, you have to help me out and call my wife' - I was married to Christie [Brinkley] - because she was going to be angry with me. He comes up to my room and says, 'Don't worry. I'll straighten it all out.' I call her and say, 'Hi, honey. I'm sorry it's so late, but I met a special friend.' Mel gets on the phone, but she doesn't believe it's him for two seconds. She tells him, 'Oh, you're lying. You put [Billy] back on the phone.' So he hands me the phone and says, 'I don't think she's very happy with you.' And he stumbles out of my room."