The mood and word around Baton Rouge is as different as the person you talk to. I think a lot of it has to do with people's connection to New Orleans prior to Katrina. For my part, I clearly see that the streets are not as crowded as they were a month ago. There are times of the day that it is much worse than it was prior to the Hurricane, but it is drivable at other times. Originally, those people must have been looking for homes or checking Baton Rouge out. New Orleanians were probably looking for something to do!
Companies who have had to absorb their counterparts from NOLA long to have their original space. Business is up at restaurants by 30-50%. Each visit to a grocery store is a surprising experience. Today at Walmart, rows of detergent and cleaning supplies had empty shelves. Yesterday at Albertsons, I saw similar things but in foodstuffs as I have since the beginning.
Generally, people are still stressed and either it is the topic of conversation or the possibility of a new storm. So much is in the newspaper, on the TV and even on the radio.
You hear about people going back to live in New Orleans. Then you read articles about what so many of them find and the circumstances they live under when they return. (No drinkable water, curfew 6pm to 8am daily, many areas no electricity/stop lights/street signs; etc.) We've talked about what if that happened to our home... what would we do? Would we rebuild if we had water 7 feet in our home? (NO!) Would we live down there during this time of 3rd world rebuild? (Probably not) At our age, (early 50's) we would not want to venture again with all of the questions that are still left such as the uncertain levee and what about property values? For us, as much as we would hate it, it would be time to gather what we could, and move on. We would let those younger or richer hopefully correct the flaws in the city. That, of course, is us.
Like I said, there are many opinions on New Orleans. If you were raised there or are young enough, eclectic enough or rich enough, you may feel differently.