Brainard and East Nassau are in South Eastern Rensselaer County, New York where Rt 66 and Rt 20 cross. East Nassau is north of Brainard. Hoags Corners is north of that. To the west of Brainard is the Village of Nassau. To the east of Brainard is West Lebanon in Columbia County. To the south, Old Chatham, also in Columbia County.
The newly incorporated Village of East Nassau, NY, takes in parts of Brainard, East Nassau and Hoags Corners.
See the map below for a quick orientation.
Rensselaer? Dutch origin. How you say it depends on where you're from. I grew up in the City of Rensselaer which is just across the Hudson River from Albany, NY. Both the City of Rensselaer and the Village of East Nassau are in Rensselaer County.
I say it "Ren'-sa-lur" or "Ren'-slur."
People who are generally not from around here say "Ren-sa-LEER'."