I have to tell you my story. I was worried about this a couple of years ago before a trip to NYC so I called the city (office of the mayor, I think). I got transferred a few times and finally got a nice young lady on the phone who was trying to be very helpful. I asked if I needed a permit for a tripod. The conversation went something like this (somewhat streamlined):

NYL = Nice young lady
ICT = Idiot Canadian tourist

NYL: How big is your crew?
ICT: (after thinking for a few seconds) Well... there is the wife, but that's about it.
NYL: (after a long pause and, I think, a bit of a sigh) You do not need a permit.
ICT: Gee, thanks
NYL; You are welcome. Try not to block the sidewalk and enjoy your stay.