After 50 years as a New Yorker, beauty-product maven June Jacobs is embracing the old and the new in the city
June Jacobs has been in the beauty and wellness business for over 30 years, and a New Yorker for more than 50. Jacobs is the creator of the June Jacobs Spa Collection, offered to guests in Grand Hyatt hotels and also found at spas, resorts, and in stores.
We caught up with June to talk about her Upper East Side neighborhood, her love of wraparound terraces, and why she craves a little bit of the old New York City and a little bit of the new.
Is this your dream neighborhood, or is there someplace else in NYC you’d prefer to settle?
I wouldn't say that it is my dream neighborhood, but it is by far the best neighborhood for me to live in. It’s very accessible to all of the parts of the city that I want to be near, and I don’t picture myself moving elsewhere.
Do you own or rent?
How’d you find it?
One of my close friends was renting the apartment I live in now and I was always envious of it. She got engaged and was going to move in with her fiancé, so I knew it was going for rent. I was able to swoop in and put in an application for it before it went on the market.
What’s the one thing you love the most about it?
I have huge beautiful wraparound terraces that face all of downtown. I would not trade my view for the world.
If there’s one thing you could change about your apartment, what would it be?
Believe it or not, there’s nothing that I would change in my apartment. Through the years, I have made several updates, even though it's a rental, which include opening up the studio apartment next to mine 10 years ago and converting it to a master suite, connected to my original two-bedroom apartment. What happened was that the tenants in the apartment next to mine moved out, and I was able to tear down a wall and take out the kitchen. Now, the converted apartment is a master suite of sorts with a large bathroom, walk-in closet, and a small room that I have made into a mini home gym. Taking over the studio was also great because it helped to extend my terrace/outdoor space.
In three words, describe the first apartment you've ever lived in.
When we were first married, my ex-husband and I lived in a [studio] in Forest Hills, Queens. My three words to describe it: basic, bare-boned, cozy.
Do you dream of old New York or prefer the 2017 version?
A bit of both. To me, what’s great about the Upper East Side is that it embodies a classic New York City lifestyle. The neighborhood hasn't changed much in style since I moved there more than 20 years ago. However, Midtown East, where my office is located, is constantly changing. I have a view from my office of the brand new 432 Park Ave., which is the epitome of the 2017 version of New York City. I like being in the best of both worlds.
Tell us about the favorite apartment you’ve ever had.
The one I’m in presently! I have indoor and outdoor space, which many Manhattanites are not lucky enough to have. This is something that I did not have until I moved to this apartment and have taken advantage of every day since I moved in. I love fresh air, and I love to lay out in the sun. My terrace is wide enough for lounge chairs so I often lie out and listen to music after work and sometimes eat dinner out there. If I have guests, especially guests from outside of New York City, I love to serve meals out there because they have a great appreciation for the view. I also have several potted flowers and plants on the terrace that I like to enjoy
And the worst?
The worst was the apartment in Forest Hills. I had no space, and no view. I really didn't realize how this apartment affected me until I moved into my current apartment. It gives me a great appreciation for the apartment I live in now.
Name one NYC service you couldn’t live without.
I do not cook very often, so one New York City service that I could not live without is the ability to order whatever food I want for delivery, whenever I want.
What's your favorite spot in the city?
Nello restaurant on Madison Avenue. I absolutely love the food and love to sit outside during the summer and people watch. Its location on Madison and 62nd Street, right in between my office and my apartment, so it is a convenient spot for me to go to with friends in the early evening and relax after work.
Which would you rather: Brooklyn brownstone or a penthouse in a shiny, new condo?
Penthouse, but an old-world apartment. I like renovated prewar. I do not see myself fitting into a super sleek, modern new building—it’s not my style.
If you could live elsewhere, where would it be?
Antibes, France. I take a yearly trip to Hotel du Cap–Eden Roc, and at the end of each vacation I never want to leave. One of my friends even gifted me a large vintage photograph of the pool at the hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, which I hung directly across from my desk at my office. The people at the hotel even jokingly call it my "South of France Home."
Any advice for a recent New York transplant?
Find a fun network of people to show you around and help you find your niche.
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