Long-standing bakery with counter-seating and scores of treats
Greenpoint’s Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop remains unchanged. Everything from the 1960s light green short dresses the staff wears to the decades old formica countertops and hand-painted price list sign are throwbacks. As the vivacious, hard working women behind the counter also speak Polish, we recall an era of the not-to-distant past when Greenpoint was a mecca for Polish immigrants. Greenpoint’s links to its working class, industrial past are rapidly disappearing, but Peter Pan remains a place run by and for ordinary working people
In a city that is rapidly stratifying and gentrifying, Peter Pan’s cheap prices make it accessible for people of any income. Its lunch counter where all kinds of people sip coffee and munch an amazing variety of tasty donuts remains one of the last true vestiges of New York democracy. Peter Pan exudes a wonderfully unpretentious aura. No snobbism or pretension is allowed here and the place hums with the energy of many Greenpointers gobbling down a fast donut or sandwich before resuming their busy lives.
The beating heart of this institution is Donna Siafakis, the hard working, no nonsense co-owner. She has a sharp eye for managing Peter Pan, but it is her love for her many customers than best defines her. She exudes a warmth that endears her to a diverse crowd of colorful, loyal customers, who together comprise a fascinating portrait of Greenpoint. In a time of isolation and social distancing, Greenpointers more than ever treasure this oasis of warmth and communality.
(added April 2020)