George, oddly, I find most people are aware of camera in NYC, hyper-aware even. Depends what part of town you're in. I mean little old ladies are less jumpy than the suits and security gaurds in financial district, but most people tend to be vigilant of their sorroundings. Especially white people...okay, that's stupid to say, I take it back, I mean certain types of people are trickier to shoot than others.
Anyway. I don't shoot much on the street, just as an exercise sometimes. But I've seen a few guys do it that really impressed me. One had the camera glued to his face, and it was really intense looking, and you just felt like he was not to be reckoned with. The other was the very opposite, very casual, and would kind of just walk up to people and SO casually photograph them at close range and just start talking, not even conversation, just start talking. Both had no skittiness or sneakeness and basically didn't give a damn. Most importantly they seemed a natural extension of the environs.