As Autumn slowly creeps upon us, powerhouse soprano, Courtney Mills, takes time to share some of her favorite things, and no they don’t include brown paper packages tied up with string.

Madame X by John Singer Sargent which is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

See – One of my favorite pastimes is going to the Museums. Living in NYC, you are surrounded by great Museums. With the suggested entrance fees being raised every year it can get to be a bit expensive, so I have found it helpful to know when each Museum has “free” days. I enjoy going to Museums to do research for roles I am learning, the restored historical rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are very inspiring. I also have certain paintings I just must visit, such as Madame X.  Brooklyn Museum of Art has free Saturdays, which include curator talks and live music. I would also suggest checking out the wine bar on the roof at the Met. Museum of Art. It has one of the most beautiful views on Central Park.

Break the fast – Food in NYC can be expensive. Brunch is one of my favorite activities to do with friends. It can easily run you $30 if you to places like Alice’s Teacup (a favorite). For those weekends you want to splurge that is perfect, but if you are worried about your wallet (who isn’t these days) Whole foods is a great alternative. Last time I had breakfast there I had oatmeal from the bar which has tons of add-in options for free and hot tea for $3.00! I love to get breakfast (or any meal really) at the Wholefoods at Columbus Circle and then take it to Central Park. 

Spa – Spa days are some of the best days! NYC has a lot of options when it comes to pampering. One of NYC best features if that you can be in any neighborhood and find a $20 mani/pedi place! If you are looking for more the internet is your bestfriend. Groupon tends to offer a lot of discounts, but one of the best sites is You can always find great deals on this site. There are also twice annual (on in the fall and on in the spring) spa weeks where you can get just about anything for $50.

Shop – Macy’s… how I love thee! I always find what I need here. A lot of the time you can find the same clothes Saks, or some of the other more expensive dept. stores, carry for less here. Macy’s has crazy sales often. Last time I went to Macy’s I needed a lot of clothes because I was leaving for the summer and needed a lot of new things. I bought $975 worth of clothes for $400. I have found that Calvin Klein looks good on everyone. Also if you have a out of state drivers liscense you can go to the customer service desk and receive a 15% discount coupon for your entire purchase. 

Tourist – When friends come to town it is fun to see the city, but friends are always coming to NYC and to go out and pay for tourist locations becomes too expensive. One of my favorite things to do with friends from out of town is pack a snack and take the Staten Island Ferry at sunset. The ferry is FREE and your friends can get great photos of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

Courtney with a guest at the Metropolitan Opera courtesy of Facebook

Enjoy – The Metropolitan Opera has a free outdoor festival of HD broadcasts. Enjoy the past Hd videos free from Lincoln Center! This is made possible by the Metropolitan Opera Guild.
If you prefer live opera the Met offers $20 rush tickets to some shows.

The very best and cheapest thing in New York are the friendships you make. Those are truly priceless!

Jacob and Courtney at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.