Pre-packaged temporary booths have sprung up in nearly all the flat driveways and backyard decks all over the neighborhood. Some have walls of blue tarp, and others are clearly older, with faded blue or yellow cloth. Like the pumpkin and Christmas tree sales that seem to pop in parking lots all over town a few weeks before their respective seasons, one would think that the same could happen in our neighborhood selling bamboo (or bamboo mats), lights, and other sundry decorations.
I've heard of more than just a few people who use Home Depot as their supply store rathe than the "Sukkah Store" in New York. A few PVC pipes, blue tarps, and some 5 gallon buckets of sand and you can have a beach party afterwards.
Last night I went to someone house for dinner. They have a new sukkah that had paneling. And a florescent shop light rigged up in addition to the Christmas lights. And their ushpizim (the "official" invited guests) were reprented by small stuffed muppets sitting precariously on the wall (well, technically sitting on an unused piece of wall that was leaning against the wall). I believe that last night's official guest was represented by the French Chef.
They had us introduce ourselves and in doing so, we had to name someone we would invite to the Sukkah from Jewish history. Those named covered a fairly wide range - Moses, Leah, Ruth, Ben Gurion, Shabtai Tzvi and Jesus. Someone named a musician (but I can't remember who it was), and there were a few random rabbis named who I've never heard of. The last person to introduce themselves is a legislative assistant and thought Senator George Allen would be a good person to invite since he's probably never celebrated Sukkot before. Someone invited their grandmother, which might have been part of her personal history, but the rest of us had never heard of her. I thought about inviting Ben Gurion's wife (even before he was invited) because I'm curious why she fed him food that he hated everyday. (Go to the museum in Sde Boker and read the story, or I'm sure it's google-able).
Among those not invited: Bob Dylan, Jerry Seinfeld, Nachson, Rashi (although Toby thought about inviting him, but a miss is as good as a mile, in this case), and Columbus (because wouldn't be interesting to finally know for sure?).