People Of Northside | Meet Neil Anderson

Scarred But Far From Broken

“… to be in Northside is to be a place where your past, your identity markers, are not seen as determinants for where your life can go… Living in Northside those identity markers are just seen as part of the music of your life. They’re not your final destination or final statement of who you are. You’re kind of free to create your own identity in Northside.”

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Neil Anderson

This month through a series of successful “errors” I was introduced to Neil Anderson of Pullan Avenue.  Neil, a seven year resident of Northside, moved here originally from Clifton.  Neil is a massage therapist specializing in catering to the individual needs of each client.  His technique is conscientious care so that everyone leaves better than they came.  He assured me that “even if you only have fifteen minutes I can make a difference.”  He explained that many of his clients have a frustration with conventional medicine and struggle with not being listened to.  Neil takes special care to listen to his clients when they come to him and gives them tools to empower themselves when they leave, like suggestions for at home exercises or better ways to sit in a desk chair.download_20140728_124219-2

Neil wasn’t always a self-employed massage therapist.  In the late 80’s he worked in a factory and was burnt severely on his arm from an industrial accident.  You do not have to look too closely to see the scars from the skin grafts on his arm.  He healed after months of recovery and went back to work in the factory, a job he didn’t feel made a difference.  He started doing massage therapy about nine years later.  He took a two year program and has been licensed since 2000 and he has not looked back.  As he puts it “I don’t hate Monday mornings anymore.”  He finds the value in doing something you love is the payoff even if it takes time for the financial value to come to fruition.

One of my favorite takeaways from my time with Neil was his insight to why he loves Northside and its place in Cincinnati: “Cincinnati is a town where identity is important,” he explains, “the high school you went to, the town where you grew up, what your parents did, whether or not you went to UC,  your religious beliefs, those have been the traditional markers of identity in Cincinnati for a long time… to be in Northside is to be a place where your past, your identity markers, are not seen as determinants for where your life can go… Living in Northside those identity markers are just seen as part of the music of your life.  They’re not your final destination or final statement of who you are.  You’re kind of free to create your own identity in Northside.”


By Lindsay Cavagnaro

Lindsay Cavagnaro
About Lindsay Cavagnaro (3 Articles)
Lindsay is relatively new to Northside moving here in November of 2012. She was drawn here by the sense of community and acceptance Northside offers and plans to stay and contribute for many years to come.

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