I will never forget the day I met Nicole Crews.

I was standing next to the bar at the Exchange on Tate Street, where I had been waiting tables for about a week, dressed all in black. She was with Jay Bulluck, who now cuts my hair at his shop, Local Honey, and I believe she was drinking one of those sake-infused cocktails that the bartender, David, was making long before the craft-cocktail thing became mainstream.

From there came a journey of a thousand drinks, a thousand miles, a thousand hours in conversations, emails and, later, texts that ranged from the deeply personal — “I didn’t know you lived in Thailand!” — to the deeply professional — “If you don’t get me that copy in 20 minutes I am coming to your house.”

We worked together for a time at Triad Style under the inimitable editor Jeri Rowe, who among other talents had a knack for throwing a quirky team together. Later she would be my editor at NC Boating Lifestyle, where she sent me around the state in search of great restaurants, beautiful homes and high-seas adventure. This was the backdrop for the infamous “Where the F is the Fish?” story that either one of us would be happy to relate to you in person, but it’s better if we tell it together.

Later still, I became her editor. I’ve found the cardinal rule in interacting with her, no matter her position in the chain of command, is to operate from the position that she’s pretty much going to do what she wants, and that the results will be fabulous.

Point is, I love Nicole Crews, at least as much as her most ardent readers do. And the sad news is that she’s signing off on her column, All She Wrote, for Triad City Beat.

I know.

But we’ve got something pretty awesome in the space. Like Nicole, Jelisa Castrodale is a pro from way back. Longtime residents may remember her from her column about downtown living in the Winston-Salem Journal. Since then she’s written for NBCsports.com, covered pop culture for popmatters.com and bitchbuzz.com, and freelanced with USA Today and Vice.

In short, she’s a total badass.

Her new column, Triaditude Adjustment debuts this week on page 30. Nicole, who never suffers fools gladly and always has a keen eye for talent, is going to love it.

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