I have been researching a good bit and it seems that if you are legally in a public place (ie have not been asked to move) you can take pictures of whatever you want. The few exceptions seem could be military institutions, places where people expect privacy (ie not through your neighbors window), to misrepresent someone(photoshop a porn star on someone), and for gain( running over and taking a photo of a start to print on an ad that they endorse your product).
also said it is A-OK
according to alot of articles I found on the USAtoday website. What are anyones stories about going through such a process. Thanks