I'm not the first to notice this, but one of the most striking changes in New Orleans since It Happened has been the transformation of Chris Rose. Before, his Times-Picayune column was brilliantly written and funny, but definitely light hearted. Slice of life, what a wacky town we live in, that sort of stuff.
But since The Thing (a phrase of his invention) his work has taken on a definite edge. He's not such a happy go lucky guy any more, which is appropriate since none of us is. Since so few businesses in the city are open, for any serious shopping you have to go out to the suburbs, to Metairie, and there is just no way to get there without driving through the destruction. Which is to have your heart re-broken on an almost daily basis.
You have to toughen yourself, or you'd go insane, to the extent that you haven't already. Chris understands this perfectly, which is how he can write such killer columns as this.