I wonder what image does the expression'on a shady street'invoke in a native speaker if he or she comes upon following paragraph.

"They were from a nice family in a nice house on a shady street. Church on Sundays. A thousand baseball games when Ronnie was a boy. How had it all come to this?"

For reference, Ronnie is a frustrated pro baseball player who is now on death row for a crime he has not committed.

  • 1
    A street with shade trees. This would imply an older (since the trees have grown up) suburban location (and a warm, fuzzy feeling). Beaver Cleaver territory.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 29 '15 at 12:52

This description implies that he was raised in a comfortable middle-class suburb or in a pleasant section of a town.

Trees are often planted on the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street-curb, if there is a sidewalk. (Not all suburbs have sidewalks; small towns usually do). The streets are "tree-lined", lined with trees.

  • Thanks a lot to everybody. Honestily, I was split between well-established and respectable neighbourhood and suspicious and seedy street because Ronnie has trouble keeping his emotions under control, committed a lot of small misdemeanors.
    – user126770
    Jun 30 '15 at 1:23
  • "nice family...nice house"
    – TRomano
    Jun 30 '15 at 1:48

"Shady street" implies to me a street with a lot of trees in a lot of front yards. Thus, it's a very residential street, with many families presumably in said houses, as houses large enough to have front yards large enough to facilitate trees are usually occupied by larger households, rather than single people or couples.

  • 1
    Or they might have been planted by the city on a planting strip. anyway, the implication is that he grew up in a well-established, "respectable" neighborhood, and had a "good" upbringing; he did not have a "deprived childhood". Jun 29 '15 at 9:44

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