Water’s Edge. Village. River. Cedar. Victor. Woodmere. The streets are haunted by ghosts of couch fires past, although a casual observer wouldn’t know it most days out of the year.
Technically Cedar Village is just one apartment complex, but to many students old and new, "Cedar Village" has become a blanket term for the anything within a few blocks.
For journalism sophomore Shireen Mohyi and her peers, Cedar Village means anything from Eden Roc to her own place in Americana Apartments.
"This neighborhood is what makes up Cedar Village," she explained. "If someone lives in those actual apartments, my friends and I refer to them as 'actual Cedar Village.'"
Mohyi might have a point — it's hard to believe one apartment complex alone could withstand the more than 3,000 students and locals who flocked to the area after the MSU football team defeated Ohio State for the Big Ten Championship title.
She'd had no idea of the area's past riots and Cedar Fests when she moved in — but she did know it was a place to party.
And no one is more familiar with that aspect of Cedar Village's reputation than DTN Management. They own "the actual" Cedar Village Apartments, not every complex in the area, as some students believe.
DTN Area Director Emilie Wohlscheid oversees Cedar Village and said the complex's long-standing popularity stems from both proximity and MSU tradition.
"It's very well known. A lot of our residents moving in have a parent lived who lived here, or aunts and uncles or brothers and sisters," Wohlscheid said. "And being so close to campus, with that familiarity, it becomes a rite of passage. You have to say you lived there at least one of your years at MSU."
Despite what police now refer to as a "civil disturbance" in December, Cedar Village is nearly full for next year.
"We try to be very proactive to prevent those things from happening. We open our doors to the ELPD, but there seems to be the idea that Cedar Village is the place to meet based on history," Wohlscheid said. "And I would love to see that change.
"We love them having parties, that's something we're completely fine with, but it becomes very disappointing when there's destruction," she added.
Mohyi witnessed the revelries this December, but said she found it more invigorating than frightening.
"Oh, I thought it was amazing. I've never seen anything like that in my life," she said. "Everyone was going crazy, but I never felt unsafe. It was so entertaining and I'm glad I had a front row seat."
But for fisheries and wildlife senior and former Cedar Street resident Chris Long, the civil disturbance this year got out of hand. He'd gone to check out his old neighborhood and was horrified at the destruction, claiming it went too far for students simply getting amped up over a football game.
"When I saw them ripping trees out of the ground it made me sick," he said.
Long said he was aware of the area's reputation before moving there, but the location made it worth it. Weekdays were relatively quiet. The neighborhood grew wild over the weekends, something Long found fun at first. But the noise and the trash or broken glass left lying around became a hassle.
"There would be be couches burning on football weekends, which is intense, but then after the first blaze, it's boring," Long explained.
Still, Long said that outside of more isolated incidents, Cedar Village's reputation is slightly exaggerated.
"Our neighbors were pretty cool. It was never a constant nuisance," Long said. "Most of the time it's just like any other student neighborhood."