Best of the Week: Our Picks for January 11-15, 2016

Learn how to cook a Turkish breakfast, have a pity party with Puddles the sad clown, and more.

Welcome to Best of the Week, our recommendations for what to check out around town this week. If you’re wondering what to do in Boston this week, check out these events.

Sofra Sofra / Courtesy photo

Monday, January 11
Turkish Breakfast Class at Sofra

To learn how to make a brunch spread fit for a sultan, follow the trail of orange blossom syrup and rose petal sugar to Sofra. Here, as part of their Monday-night cooking demos, award-winning pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick and chef de cuisine Didem Hosgel teach you the secrets creating your own small-plate-centric Turkish breakfast. On the menu: menemen (a spiced egg dish with tomatoes and peppers), olive and herb salad with pomegranate molasses, potato and cheese phyllo pie, kaymak (quince with sweet cream), and simit (sesame bread).

$117.04 via Eventbrite, January 11, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Sofra Bakery & Cafe, 1 Belmont St., Cambridge, 617-661-3161,

BOW_011116_Puddles_main BOW_011116_Puddles_main

Tuesday, January 12
Puddles Pity Party

There’s something unbearably poignant—yet irresistibly compelling—about a glum court jester bemoaning the fact that he’ll never be king. Which goes a long way to explain why the Puddles Pity Party cover of Lorde’s “Royals” has racked up nearly 15 million views since its debut. Though Atlanta artist Michael Geier created the Puddles character in 1999 for the all-clown band called Greasepaint (a phrase sure to induce full-body shudders for most of the populace), Puddles was finally catapulted to stardom with a Postmodern Jukebox cameo in late 2013. This week, you can see him in the clownflesh at the Sinclair—just one of the many reasons why we love that place. Not sad enough for ya? You could always go back on Wednesday, for this month’s installment of Emo Night.

$30, January 12, 9 p.m., The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Cambridge, 617-547-5200,

Johannes Vermeer, A Lady Writing Johannes Vermeer, A Lady Writing / Courtesy image via MFA/National Gallery of Art, Washington (Gift of Harry Waldron Havemeyer and Horace Havemeyer, Jr.

Wednesday, January 13
The Making of ‘Class Distinctions’

Lest you think an art exhibition just assembles itself and springs fully formed onto gallery walls, the MFA’s Ronni Baer can assure you otherwise. The exhibition curator of “Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer” spent five years pulling together the works currently on display, a feat that required loans from more than 40 institutions across the globe, with nearly a third of the 75 paintings making their U.S. debut. As the show prepares to take its final bow—it’s closing on January 18—get an insider glimpse of how it all came together.

$20 ($16 members), January 13, 7-8 p.m., Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium (Auditorium 161), Museum of Fine Arts, Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-267-9300,

The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter / Cover image from 2015 Penguin Classics edition

Thursday, January 14
Tom Perrotta, on The Scarlet Letter

If there’s anyone equipped to comment on the tragic nature of Puritan life, it’s 19th-century author Nathaniel Hawthorne—a man so horrified by the actions of his great-great-grandfather and Salem witch trial judge John Hathorne, he changed his own name. And if there’s anyone equipped to comment on Hawthorne’s impact on modern literature, it’s Tom Perrotta, the Belmont-based author whose most recent work includes writing the intro to the new 2015 Penguin Classics edition of The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne—whom Perrotta describes as “part of America’s collective unconscious”—influenced his novels The Leftovers and Little Children, books in which bike paths cut through the woods to reveal scenes of sin and adulterers lose themselves in a moment that they may spend lifetimes repenting. This week, Perrotta comes to the Harvard Book Store to discuss the 1850 novel that served as “the first small step in our narrative of sexual liberation.”

Free, January 14, 7 p.m., Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-661-1515,

Arisia ’Charlie’s Fallen Angels’ at Arisia by R’lyeh Imaging on Flickr/Creative Commons

Friday, January 15

One way to get through a dreary Boston winter: escape reality. Which is exactly what long-running sci-fi con Arisia offers—with gaming, cosplay, theater, film screenings, merch tables, and discussion panels galore. This year’s special author guest of honor is John Scalzi, a creative consultant for Stargate: Universe and writer of the Old Man’s War series and Redshirts, a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead-style tribute to ever-doomed, crimson-clad ensigns of the Star Trek universe. We’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe at Arisia—including some poor soul getting his hobbit cape stuck in the escalator. So if you’re in the mood to explore strange new worlds, you’ve come to the right place.

$65 weekend passes ($10-$45 one-day passes), January 15-18, Westin Boston Waterfront, 425 Summer St., Boston, 617-532-4600,


Looking for more winter arts coverage? Check out:

Winter Concerts and Comedy

Winter Theater Openings

Winter Author Events

Winter Museum Openings