Thursday, October 16

l eighday16 Thursday, October 16Before J. K. Rowling, there was R. L. Stine, the author whose entire slasher oeuvre we consumed during our “fat years” in the front of the school bus in the late ’80s, and tonight he reads scary stories at the 92nd Street Y to get us in the mood for Halloween, when we’ll all dress up as slutty Sarah Palins and Ashley Alexandra Duprés. … Ah, would that we could just sail away like the folks at Hudson River Community Sailing, which offers “nautical programming” to New Yorkers brave enough to risk contact with the murky waters surrounding our isle. “I came from a long lineage of sailors,” said Bill Bahen, the skipper in charge of this nostalgic enterprise. “My father was a great sailor. It gave me a good life of sailing all up and down the eastern seaboard.” Avast, ye mateys! Oh wait—that’s pirates. … Tonight Mr. Bahen and his polo-shirted ambassadors for the WASP lifestyle throw a benefit to support free after-school sailing lessons for economically disadvantaged teens. It’s kind of like math, Mr. Bahen said. “There’s so much involved in sailing that’s completely transferable to math. A lot of the classes you take, you’re like, How is this transferable to the real world? Our goal was to bridge that gap and teach the math behind the lift in the sail. … There’s a huge waiting list.” Just don’t let the boom hit ya! Finally, our pick for prezzie, Barack Obama, bats away any last lingering cloud of “cultural elitism” by appearing with men of the people Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

[R. L. Stine at 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 8:15 p.m., http://www.92y.org; Red Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight Fall Fund-Raiser, the Frying Pan, Pier 63, West 23rd Street, 8 p.m., http://www.hudsonsailing.org; Obama concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom, 8:30 p.m., 212-763-4850]

mbryan@observer.com