Judy Xu is Senior Consultant for a global multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate, but in Hell’s Kitchen, she’s best known as someone who likes to surprise local businesses with the gift of one of her crochet creations! This is Judy’s West Side Story.

Judy Xu Crochet
Judy and her crochet creations. Photo supplied.

So, what’s your New York story? Born here, or just arrived?
My adventures in NYC started when I snagged my degree at NYU! 

What was your first job? What do you do now?
My first job was as a product manager for a luxury automotive company. Now I am a Senior Consultant who does product and project management for a global multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate. I also crochet on the side 🙂 

What’s your favorite New York minute (or moment) so far?
My favorite moments are found in the little things, like when I walked into my bodega and the owner remembered my salad order! 

Share with us why you love Hell’s Kitchen
The diversity of food, of course! You’ll never go hungry or get bored with all of the restaurants around (including so many new ones popping up). 

Judy Xu Crochet example
Judy loves crocheting creatures and gives them as gifts to some of the local businesses in Hell’s Kitchen. Photo: Naty Caez

What’s your superpower or hidden talent?
I love to crochet creatures! I’ve made a diversity of creations from robots to dragons — I show them off on my insta (@cutiesbyjudy) I love little surprises so it made sense for me to combine crocheting with delighting local businesses through my creations! It’s a token of my appreciation for my favorite stores (especially to the people behind them). If you have local businesses in mind that you think would enjoy my crocheted figurines, please message me on Instagram. I’m all ears for spreading joy! 

What else should we know about you?
I’m a huge animation fan (especially Disney/Pixar) and love exploring new areas. It’s my dream for my crochet to bring a smile to your face! Reach out if you are interested in me creating something for you! 

Judy’s Favorite Hell’s Kitchen Places

Her Boba — 457 W50th Street (bw 9th/10th Ave)
This little store is a pocket of happiness with its phenomenal drinks and gorgeous plants. Her Boba offers some of the best boba I’ve ever had (and I’ve visited 30+ boba spots from around the world). I now hold all the boba I drink to the standard of Her Boba’s products.

Aqua Boil — 750 9th Avenue (bw W50/51st St)
Seafood makes me happy and quality seafood boils makes me ecstatic! I turn to Aqua Boil for the yummy crawfish, shrimps, and clams topped with potatoes/corn and doused in an unforgettable sauce. Their clams are so large and delicious.

Lovely’s Old Fashioned — 642 9th Avenue (bw W45/46th St)
I enjoy the vibes here — there’s a giant grill right by the register where you can watch your burger being made and the food itself is outstanding. After visiting for the first time in April, I knew that I’d become a regular here — Shake Shack needs to look out! 

Huascar & Co Bakeshop — 453 W54th Street (bw 9th/10th Ave)
One of my favorite stores to grab high-quality cupcakes — it’s tiny but packed with so many colorful and delectable desserts! The staff is also kind and fun. 

Bulbap Grill — 746 10th Avenue (bw W50/51st St)
I’m spoiled to have this Korean restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen — they have outstanding bibimbap. The owners are also incredibly modest and friendly — it’s reflected in the high quality food.

Omakase by Korami — 400 W50th Street (west of 9th Ave)
Omakase by Korami not only excels in serving premium sushi, but they also elevate the quality of their omakase with unforgettable hospitality. The restaurant is my oasis — it’s the perfect escape with fresh sushi and an amiable atmosphere! By the time you finish dining, you’ve befriended all the chefs!

Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I read W42ST to catch up on anything Hell’s Kitchen!

You can follow Judy on Instagram @cutiesbyjudy. If you know someone who would make a great West Side Story (or you would like to nominate yourself), please fill in this form — w42st.info/WSSnominations

You can check out more West Side Stories and reader recommendations on W42ST’s Hell’s Kitchen Local App.

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