100-Year-Old Grandma Shares Advice With Strangers On Manhattan Streets

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Trying to solve a question or a problem? Grandma knows best.

As CBS2’s Alex Denis reports, one special grandmother is lending her 100 years of wisdom to strangers on the Upper West Side.

Her makeshift office attracts a steady stream of New Yorkers, anxiously awaiting a chat with the woman who has 10 decades of life experience.

“For me, it was a thrill. She’s just wonderful,” one man said.

Inside the cardboard cut-out you’ll find a laptop, with 100-year-old grandmother Eileen Wilkinson on the other.

She may live clear across the country in Washington State, but thanks to her grandson — Mike Matthews, an adjunct social media professor at New York University – she’s now sharing words of wisdom for free.

“You can be anything you want,” she says. “Don’t complain about anything. You do something about it.”

Over the past three months, hundreds of people have stopped by, chatting like old friends.

“She absolutely gets a kick out of meeting New Yorkers, because they’re so open about their lives,” Matthews said.

A music student asked for advice on a performance. Others were curious about life in 1917.

One boy said he was already planning his next visit.

“She’s so wise,” he said. “And she really does not look 100. She looks like she’s in her early to late ‘80s.”

Wilkinson spent most of her life as a homemaker and mother. She says truly listening gives her advice-giving ability a personal touch. And, she’s honest.

“A friend of mine will say, ‘I talked to your grandmother last night.’ And I’ll say, ‘I had no idea.’ She’s a lock box,” Matthews said.

She hosts Facebook Live chats and has an Instagram account.

“It works both ways, because I get great joy talking to them,” she says.

Wilkinson’s not slowing down any time soon, bringing new meaning to the adage, ‘The road to grandma’s house is never long.”

She will turn 101 in January and says her secret to longevity is living a good, clean life.

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