Lined with restaurants and places to shop, the western end of Houston St is a good deal different than its eastern counterpart. Gone are the bars and trendy clubs, instead you'll find churches, apartments and quiet(ish) side streets. Sure, there's still the bustle of Greenwhich village just a few blocks north, but compared to the inane noise of the LES/East Village, this is nothing.
The side streets that peek out into the middle of the busy intersections all seem very anonymous and similar. Houston is a massive street - complete with a middle island; something only a handful of other streets in Manhattan share (Park Ave, B'Way, and Delancey come to mind). All-in-all, this part of the block feels much more like a neighborhood, whereas a bit to the east it feels like a destination.