With Artful Touches
You could set your watch by Alex Braginsky. And woe to the boss or relative who let dust accumulate on their computer screens: they got scolded. Having moved to Queens from the Soviet Union in 1979 with virtually nothing, he felt anyone fortunate enough to have state-of-the-art computers had better take care of them.
Mr. Braginsky, 38, was a man who picked up his shirts at the dry cleaner and, before going to work at Reuters, re-ironed them if he noticed wrinkles. A perfectionist but not a prima donna, he would pull over to help if he passed a motorist with car trouble. When he traveled in Europe with his girlfriend, complete strangers would stop him on the street and ask for directions: even in foreign countries, he projected the savoir-faire of a fellow who knew where he was headed.
He rode a motorcycle and filled his kitchen in Stamford, Conn., with topnotch cookware. "A three hundred dollar set of knives," marveled his mother, Nelly. "I'd tell him, for that much, a knife should work by itself. When Alex cooked, it was like art on your plate." He was doing a colleague a favor and filling in at a meeting at Windows on the World on Sept. 11th.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 26, 2001.