Right you are about wanting the poetic words to describe skating.
This afternoon (Dec. 23rd) we went down to the city rink -- not in the old bowl, but along the dike behind Denton Field. I can barely remember the bowl for skating (actually, it seems like I remember seeing people skating there, but never hit the ice myself.) The current location is the one I really grew up with and I am happy to report the ice is ready right now.
Good ice at Christmas.
The lower portion of the skating rink is really smooth. The only rough areas are along the edge, which makes sense as the layers of ice are just being built up. Careful around the trees and you'll be fine. Other good news, the ice hills are being built. Both the main hill and the longer run (quasi-parallel to the dike) are ready for sledding. Runner sleds!
It was really fun. Bundle up because the warming house isn't open yet and it is cold.