A while ago, nearing the last hour of my shift. It was a Sunday morning, and I have a set routine. Almost all the customers who come in follow one as well. You could almost set your watch by them. About 6am, I was just finishing up my duties and waited by the register for my 6:01 customer to enter. After a few minutes, no one walk through the door. I watched out the window, and noticed absolutely no traffic going by.
I stepped outside for a cigarette, and all I saw was two squad cars parked on the corners about 2 blocks in either direction. After almost 45 minutes of no customers, I had everything completed and even had the shift closed for the day by the time my coworker finally came in. She's usually 20-30 minutes early, but said the cops gave her a hard time to get through to go to work. Sadly, she didn't even ask why the street was blocked.
Finally, it was time for my to leave. I was determined to get to the bottom of what was going on. I stepped outside just in time to seen a group of what looked like tourists, you know the kind, the one's in matching shirts with cameras and fanny pack, on a nearby corner. I walked up to them and asked them what was going on.
"The "father" by the looks of it, turned to me and said, "You don't know, their airlifting an HVAC unit."
"Right over there," pointing to a nearby 16 story building, "They'll be starting any minute now."
I saw a large truck come through the police line and park near the intersection of my work. I also heard a light thump-thump-thump in the distance and getting louder. Finally, a S-64 Skycrane appeared overhead. At that time, CPD began pushing people back from the intersection. I began walking down the now-empty street and stopped roughly 250 feet back, probably not the safe distance I should have been, but I felt like feeling the propwash. Sadly, the amount of dust and debris it kicked up made me glad I at least had my sunglasses on. I looked up at the lofts above my job to see a lot of people opening their windows at the sudden sound, or even sight of the hulking piece of machinery that was being hauled up. It seemed to be over after just a couple minutes, but seeing a helicopter flying so close to the buildings, only made me want to stay to see if any "mishaps" would prevent me from having to come back to work for a while. Sadly, the only thing to happen was a small pebble cracking one of the smaller, unnecessary windows.
The S-64 brought down the old HVAC unit, placed it on the truck, then left. The street was reopened, traffic was coming, and everything returned to normal.
As normal as you can call it, at least.