Madonna and The East Village of the 80's

Art & Culture | History

The Beginnings of a Legendary Pop Icon

Madonna 1980s East Village History

About Madonna and The East Village of the 80's

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • It looks like a regular apartment building, but now we know better! This was one of Madonna’s first apartments in New York City.
  • The legendary singer claims that when she moved from Michigan to the East Village of New York City in 1977, she had just $35 in her pocket.
  • To make ends meet, she took on a variety of jobs, including a stint at Dunkin Donuts in Times Square and posing nude for an art class.  Dunkin fired her for reportedly squirting donut jelly in a customer’s face.
  • Madonna was discovered on this stoop.  She told VH1 that a photographer walked down the street and asked to take her photo. He got her number and called her back a couple of days later.  Turns out his mom was a casting director with Marin Scorsese and she was also good friends with Barbara Streisand.  The connection led to her audition for the movie Desperately Seeking Susan.
  • Madonna landed the part in the movie which also featured her dance song Into the Groove.  Shortly after this, her debut album was released, and the rest is history.

Carpe City Trivia

Fun facts about Madonna

  • Madonna has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 3 times, won 7 Grammy Awards, and holds 10 Guinness World Records including best-selling female artist and most successful female solo artist.
  • Despite her religious background (not to mention her name), Madonna has “been excommunicated from the Catholic Church three times” due to her lyrics and antics on stage including simulated masturbation and a mock crucifixion. Today she may have turned a corner.  She was recently quoted saying “Rules are for fools. That’s why I like the new pope. He seems very open-minded.” She then proceeded to dedicate her song “Like a Virgin” to Pope Francis.
  • Madge (her least favorite nickname) is one smart lady!  In school she was a straight “A” student, and her IQ is 140.
  • Before dropping out to move to New York, Madonna attended the University of Michigan on a dance scholarship.
  • In her early years, before going solo, Madonna drummed for a band called The Breakfast Club.  One of the later members was American Idol judge Randy Jackson.
  • Although known more for her music, Madonna has acted in 22 films.  Some were praised, others were panned.  The highlight: Madonna won a Best Actress Golden Globe for her performance in the musical Evita.
  • Her 2008 Sticky & Sweet tour remains the highest-grossing concert tour of all time by a female artist.
  • Singer, songwriter, actress, musician, dancer, mother and yes, also an author.  To date, Madonna has published 10 books, from children’s books to her book simply titled SEX.

Just to highlight that Madonna is the mother of all reinvention, we thought we would share two of the books she’s published over the years.

Madonna’s Sex book on Amazon.  
This one is hard to find these days!
We also found one at The Strand!

Madonnas Sex Book on Amazon


The English Roses – The first in a series of children’s books by Madonna

Madonna Childrens Book on Amazon

By: Kelly McDermott & Ariel Kates

New York City Tours

Great Places Near Madonna and The East Village of the 80's

Tuome Restaurant East Village


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29B Teahouse

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Il Posto Accanto

Italian Small Plates and Wine Bar with a Good Neighborhood Vibe

190 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009
6th Street Avenue Garden B Green Space
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Sixth Street and Avenue B Community Garden (6th and B)

An Active Community Garden Steeped in East Village History

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Allen Ginsberg poet 1979
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Allen Ginsberg

A Poet, An Icon of Counterculture & A Leader of The Beat Generation

170 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009
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Discovery Wines

A Shopping Destination for Natural Wine Enthusiasts

16 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
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Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe

Poetry Slams, Open Mics, Jazz, Hip Hop, Theater and More at this Multi-Cultural Arts Institution

236 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009
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Exit9 Gift Emporium NYC

A Great Selection of Quirky and Creative Gifts

51 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

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