Farewell, Dear Friend

We pay tribute to a man who played an integral role in crafting our magazine for nearly 15 years

Nicholas “Nick” Brandi

Photography by Stefan Radtke

“Things that Make Me Happy”
by Nick Brandi (2021)
The sound of other people’s laughter (especially
if I am the cause of it);
Doing things that make people’s lives just a little
Feeling like I belong within a community of
people and earning the respect of people
whom I already respect;
Naps and sleeping in general;
Being valued;
Driving in a car I like, on a sunny day, sunroof
open, listening to music that complements
my mood, driving on backroads, enjoying the
landscape and architecture of neighborhoods
I’ve never seen before;
Decent food;
Booze (I drink only moderately, but what I
consume, I enjoy);
Good TV & movies;
Doing nothing;
Doing everything;
The cliche things that we all enjoy, like summer
breezes and puppies and babies;
Sincere compliments;
Seeing justice be done;
Witnessing good people triumph;
Seeing people be treated fairly;
Watching a person or people give spontaneous
joy to large groups of people in unison;
Dog videos;
Seeing people reunited after having been apart
for a long time;
Watching the nuanced interaction of two people
who really, really love each other;
Blooper reels of actors on their popular TV
shows and movies;
Dreams in which I can fly (I had them more often
when times were tough, less often when times
are good).

We begin our Best Of 2023 issue by remembering one of the very best minds, talents and friends that we’ll ever have had the distinct pleasure of having as a part of our family. Nick Brandi was a deeply loyal, loving, kind spirit who’s remarkable mind was as admired as much as his generous heart.

He tenaciously sought a position in our small company, and in 2009, we welcomed him as our editor — a position he held until the day he passed. When he advanced his career by achieving a lifelong ambition to become editor of Westchester Magazine (WM), his devotion to our publication never wavered, and he continued to serve as our editor, under the pen name, Tony Chalek. As anyone who knew Nick would expect, he never compromised his role at WM, and contributed to our publication on available nights and weekends.

He was an eloquent speaker, a thoughtful listener, a defender of integrity, a gifted storyteller, a master of quick-witted one-liners, a profoundly trustworthy confidant, a true friend to so many, a courageous fighter till the end, and so much more. He leaves us far too soon and longing for his presence.

The following is, in part, from his obituary:
Nicholas Anthony Brandi of Stamford, CT, passed away peacefully on August 7, 2023 following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Nick was born on June 28, 1960 and was raised and lived most of his life in Westchester, New York. He attended John F. Kennedy High School in Somers, New York, Purchase College SUNY and Western Connecticut State University.

A natural wordsmith, he had a distinguished career in publishing across multiple modalities and, until recently, was employed by Westchester Magazine, where he was the Managing Editor. Handsome, an adroit dancer, and a gifted thespian, he was no stranger to the stage, including appearing in several films, stage productions, and even a well-regarded Off-Broadway show. Nick was the Rabbi in the acclaimed Grandma Silvia’s Funeral and was also in Jekyll and Hyde.

Nick’s clever humor and boisterous laugh were almost as legendary as his brilliant intellect, he was a proud member of Mensa.

Nick’s memory will be a blessing.

Indeed it will. CS

1 comment

  1. What a gift he was to the world. I didn’t know him, but what he wrote above makes me feel like I did and how much I would have enjoyed knowing him. I am very sorry for your loss, but more grateful for what you and all of his readers and friends gained while he passed through your lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *