I’m Matt Gross, a food and travel writer who works for publications such as Saveur, Afar, WorldHum.com, and the New York Times, where I wrote the Frugal Traveler column from 2006 to 2010 and where I’ve recently begun a new regular series, “Getting Lost.” I also write “The Voyager,” a column for Currency, a personal-finance website run by American Express. This blog, “The Minor Glories,” is supposed to be a kind of supplement to all of that, a way to talk about the zillions of interesting things that, for one reason or another, don’t make it into my longer articles.

(The blog’s name comes from an article I wrote for WorldHum, “The Minor Glories of Constant Motion.”)

And if, for some reason, you want to read my thoughts on parenting in New York City, check out Dadwagon.com.

Also: I have a book proposal finished and circulating among publishers. If you’re interested, or if you want to discuss any other book-related issues, please contact my agent, Nathaniel Jacks at Inkwell Management. And if you’d like to contact me directly, please e-mail worldmatt at worldmatt dot org.

25 responses to “About

  1. I just loved your Lost in Tangier piece. Loved it. I’m going to be writing about it on my blog this week (http://www.thewriterandthewanderer.blogspot.com), but just wanted to say that I so admire what you are doing and I think this longer format is great for you. Loved reading/hearing your voice. Look forward to the next.

  2. Hey, I work with the CheapOair travel blog (cheapoair.typepad.com) and we’re interested in having you guest blog for us. Please contact me if you’re interested. Thanks! Aldo.

  3. Thanks, Aldo, but blogging for you guys would probably violate the ethics agreement I have with the Times. Thanks for thinking of me, though!

  4. Hi Matt,

    I just finished reading your article about getting lost in Ireland and was amazed by how similar your experience was to mine! I was there several years ago, and was shocked to find out how hard it was to connect with locals. I went from Dublin to Galway and the Aran Islands. I had a rental car, and my plan was to stay in small towns and visit the pubs in the evenings. During that time I did not meet anyone, it was very frustrating. My final evening was spent at a pub outside of Dublin, where I finally had an interesting discussion with the publican. He explained how most locals were so caught up in making money, and saving it, that going to the pub was not a priority any more.

    I just got back from a three week trip to Laos and Cambodia, an experience exactly opposite the Ireland trip. People were so amazingly open, friendly and eager to connect, I fell in love with the place.

    Thanks for all your great writing, and sharing your experiences. I really like your attitude.

  5. I’ve posted some comments about the adventure in Ireland, based in the “lost” and “lonely” detours of eventually finding that often hard to harvest ephemeral-sustainable impact. You write a narration in film, to my ears. And I probably have a book for you, traveler.

    Many thanks, Che. I’m hearing again the tin whistle, the laughter, the pint bottoms on the bar.

  6. Matt,
    I logged on to the NY Times website last week to get my weekly fix of weddings and celebrations (my guilty pleasure) when the title of your article- Lost in Ireland, caught my eye. I’m Irish and live in Dublin but I spent some years living in New York and was keen to see how a 21st century visitor from my adopted city fared in my homeland. Needless to say, while I was proud of how our physical landscape shone in your so eloquently written article, I was completely horrified and ashamed by the lack of warmth and friendliness you experienced while you were here.

    Unfortunately, I think that the article was very fair and probably does reflect the experience of many tourists to our country. It seems that we have become cynical and lazy about being friendly to strangers. Ironically, it seems that the Celtic Tiger has robbed us of our manners as well as our economic stability.

    By the by, when I lived in NYC, a city with a reputation for having mean streets, and even meaner inhabitants (well, tough, at least), I was struck by how warm and friendly people were. When I asked for directions, elaborate, lengthy answers were proffered, often, it seemed, just to be nice (rather than accurate!)- and it made me feel good. Invitations to people’s homes abounded and all in all, I felt welcome and included in your society. I’m so sorry that you didn’t get the same welcome when you came here.

    It appears I am not the only one who read your article and squirmed. The citizens of Ireland were admonished, albeit in a tongue and cheek way in the Sunday Independent today (the most widely read semi-rag in the country) for their unfriendliness to you and were called upon to make this give a yank a hug year or something like that. Just so you know.

    Also, I was in a bar after work on Friday and, mindful of your article, I spent the whole evening talking/gesturing in a friendly way to two Italian guys visiting for the weekend. It was quite exhausting given the significant language barrier, but it was fun. We need to meet new people as much as visitors need us to be friendly.

    Please come back and give us an opportunity to make amends. We are great craic, warm and nice- a soft people- we just need to be reminded sometimes. We’ll make sure that you have the best welcome ever.

  7. Thanks for your response on my blog (bittentravel.blogspot.com) Matt!

    First off, I apologize for misinterpreting what you wrote. I genuinely enjoy your “Getting Lost” series and certainly look forward to reading the rest of them. And I hope my “response” didn’t come off in any way disrespectful. Certainly not my intention.

    Second, thanks for reading! It’s an honor that someone of your experience would take the time to read my little blog. I look forward to reading yours. And to reading more of your “Getting Lost” series.


  8. Dear Matt,

    I heard your discussion about schnapps with Lynne Rossetto Kasper on Saturday morning on WABE FM 90.1 Atlanta.

    Many years ago, a liquer called Kirsch (cherry flavored) became popular among some young people I knew at the time. I wanted Lynne to ask you if Kirsch is also a type of schnapps.

    • Well, “kirsch” is just German for “cherry,” so what you drank could have been cherry schnaps, or some other kind of cherry liqueur. Without tasting it myself, I can’t know for sure. Got any left?

  9. Matt,
    I’m contacting you re: an article you had written for the NY Times back in ‘o9
    Sailing the Grenadines for $55.00 a day.
    Would you recommend this trip for a fit and adventursome 40 yo female?
    Wondering about the sleep/safety conditions on the Ilusion.
    In other words….. if your Mother was travelling alone. Would you feel comfortable sending her on such a sailing excursion?
    Thanks for any feed back

    • Hm, that’s a tricky one. If you’re 40, fit, adventuresome AND good at dealing with all types of people, it’s going to be a great time. Boats are small places, and conflict inevitably arises, so staying relaxed, listening well, and responding thoughtfully will take you far.

      The only thing that would disturb your sleep is the heat, but Ali has told me they’ve since upgraded the venting, so maybe it’s not as sweaty as it used to be. Security-wise, everyone just has to remember to close and lock hatches. There are thieves who will try to break into boats, but if the boat’s locked up, they’ll move on to the next one. Just like anywhere!

      Hope this helps…

  10. Hi, Matt. Read your latest “getting lost” article in the NYT today. So good! I see that Da Capo is going to be publishing your book. I look forward to carrying it at our store, Wide World Books and Maps in Seattle. We’d love to have you come do a reading and signing when it comes out. Keep us in mind when you’re setting up your publicity.

  11. Low-grade serendipity, perhaps, but it occurred to me that Minor Glories stands as an initialed proxy for Matt Gross.

  12. Hi

    i just looked at your paper on getting lost in paris
    i am a photographer so i first look at images
    i am french , live in New York

    what the hell happened with this photography subject
    i love the NYT for the great use of photography , most of the time

    unfortunately , little by little the bargain of journalism and photography is drowning to death any quality

    this photo essays of close to 20 images is one of the most awful i have seen in the NYT
    this is non photography and it is outrageous to even get credited for this images

    please don’ t drag great publication down like this
    it is terrible for your profession and our profession

    there is a lot talented photographers out there, to not chose mediocrity

    Michel Andreo

  13. Hi Matt,
    I came across “Lost in Paris”, this morning; on what was supposed to be a very busy Monday, but turned out to be a real lazy one for me (my boss is not in the office, which might explain it).
    As an avid Francophile, I’ve read dozens of travel essays and books about France, Paris, foreigners in Paris, learning French, you name it. But what you wrote was so different and so amazing that it completely stood out to me. I know Paris just like you: not perfectly, but well. Paris to me represents both the biggest love and the biggest heartbreak of my life, which has now left with me a scar and bittersweet feelings towards the city. Nonetheless, it is still my favorite place in the world, the one city where I would always run to if I had the choice.
    So I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you for writing something so inspiring and true (to me, at least). And I think you might just have written the perfect definition of the City of Lights: “the magic of a great neighborhood in this city is that it feels as though it exists for you alone.”
    A new fan.

  14. Hi Matt,
    Nice to get in contact with you from Buenos Aires.
    I wanted to congratulate you for your text “Lost in Paris”. I found it really interesting and quite different from all what I have been reading in the news and travel magazines before. Very often, travel articles become too informative, a list of very well known places, a list of addresses and phone numbers. In the end, the reader never gets involved with the texts.
    I would like to follow you or your works somewhere, I am not on twitter but on facebook.
    Thank you!

  15. Hi: I just read and enjoyed your article on Caribbean hot sauces….wanted to let you know that there may be a typo. I believe that it should be Matouk’s and not Mabrouk’s. Hope this helps.

  16. Dear Matt
    By chance I found your recent article published in the NY Times. I’m so sorry that the rain spoiled your journey in Paris… Next time you have the chance to get back to Paris, please contact me at corinne@vacationsandlifestyle.com. It would be a delight to show you the city totally off the beaten paths, and also to recommend you lovely places to stay at a more affordable price than the Four Season George V or the Plaza Athenée. Regarding restaurants, food and wine… I think I hold the keys of the paradise ! Look forward to hearing from you, Matt !
    Best, Corinne

  17. Hi Matt, just a quick note to say how jealous i am of you. I am a fellow traveler and love to hear, read and talk about it. I am leaving to trek Kilimanjaro on February 18th. I only get a chance once a year to leave family behind and explore the world and it keeps me focused and happy throughout the year. How about a series on old ( well i’m 46) ones like myself who have time limitations and still want to explore this unbelievable world. Tell me watch you think.
    David Salzberg

  18. Connie Witkowski


    I read your article “Getting lost in Jerusalem”. As I read through your article, I laughed when you made reference to Lutheran services in Decorah, Iowa. How on earth did you end up in Decorah? Well, I suppose that was easy enough with all your travels.

    I am a Norwegian Lutheran from the Decorah area, went to Luther College and ended up in the Chicago area. My husband is endlessly amazed at the people who have been to Decorah.

    We went to Jerusalem a few years ago. It was quite an eye opener.

    I enjoyed your article and look forward to reading your book.

    Connie Witkowski

  19. Dear Matt,
    I’ve just found out an article about your work on http://rolfpotts.com. That brought me to the NYtimes article about Paris and your website which is very interesting. I’m very impressed by your career and I must say that it gives so much optimism. I’ve got my own blog about travel. Even if I have a job in the cultural field in Brussels, writing about my anecdotes, my travels, taking pictures is what I really love to do. Maybe someday, my passion will become my job, I don’t know… I know it’s very hard and I’m still young.
    So I wanted to thank you and wish you good future travels. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need information about Belgium.
    Salutations de Bruxelles!

  20. Hey Matt, loving your work as a cultured traveller. Especially your piece on argentine nights! I run a company in Buenos aires http://www.foto-ruta.com its for cultured travellers like yourself..and aims to get people off the tourist trail. look us up if you’re in town!

  21. Pingback: A Night to Remember: Gnocchi Face-Off 2013 | The Yellow Table

  22. Carlos Castillo

    Hi Matt, I just finished reading the chapter titled “poor Me.” I wanted to let you know that you made possible to dream about visiting other places. Due to economic constraints I thought that my traveling was limited to, as you put it, camping, hostels and supermarket meals. I found your column inspiring and motivating, I have been able to experience the Rockies, New York City, and more recently Puerto Rico. Thanks to you I learned about Couchsurfing. By which we have met wonderful people from around the world. I also learned a few tips here and there. I am the most grateful about the opportunity to realize that traveling does not have to be a dream. That it is possible to enjoy good company, good food, and beautiful places at affordable prices. Bon Voyage.

  23. Fellow Lithuanian

    Hi Matt, I’ve really enjoyed following your articles, including your piece for the NY Times on Vilnius. I’m digging into a bit of Lithuanian ancestry research myself and wonder if you have contact information for the researcher listed in your article? And I’m not sure how else to contact you – sorry!

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