Merrily Kerr — art writer, tour guide and intrepid Manhattanite — led 20 of us on a whirlwind (and very snowy) tour of top Chelsea art galleries a few weeks ago. It’s part of her amazingly focused, insider New York Art Tours, which she likes to call “the fastest route to the world’s finest art.”

Kerr offers bouncy and informative tour packages to Chelsea— arguably the center of gallery action in New York — Soho, Brooklyn’s edgy outpost of Williamsburg, and even a select round of Opening Night shows. nysnow.jpgShe’ll even design a custom tour based on your specific coordinates and interests. Kerr’s narrative never bogs down and always informs. Our group (here’s some of us fighting sub-zero wind chill) rode the subway, slogged through the Valentine’s Day snow storm that had most of the East Coast on lock-down, and got an up-close viewing of some only-in-New-York gallery action. As lots of people know, joining a small, single-focus tour while you’re visiting a major city, can be the quickest way into the heart of a non-tourist experience.

Highly recommended. See Kerr’s website for details.