Oregon resident fulfills dream of traveling to Pittsburgh to create a Terrible Towel

Daniel Seddiqui has a piece of Pittsburgh he helped create.

The California native, who lives in Bend, Ore., came to the city as part of his quest to visit 65 cities to craft a meaningful piece of each destination which reflects its culture and industry. He is calling the venture “A Piece of Your City.”

In Pittsburgh, he made a trip to create his own a “Terrible Towel” at Little Earth Productions, Inc. on the South Side.

Seddiqui contacted VisitPittsburgh about coming to Pittsburgh. A member of the organization suggested he visit Little Earth, the company that creates custom towels for which is a staple at Pittsburgh Steelers games, weddings, anniversaries and other celebrations as well as many other officially licensed apparel, bags, home décor and accessories of other professional sports teams.

“Little Earth was great,” he said. “They had me jump right in and I was able to choose the graphic I wanted and put the name I wanted on it and put it on the hot press.”


Courtesy of Ava DeMarco

A “Terrible Towel” being made at Little Earth Productions, Inc. on Pittsburgh’s South Side.


Workers walked Seddiqui through the process from designing to production said Ava DeMarco, CEO of Little Earth. He was able to choose the font and the words he wanted printed on the towel. The towel design he went with incorporates the city’s landscape and an airplane flying overhead.

“The Terrible Towel definitely makes people think of Pittsburgh,” DeMarco said. “It is seen all over the world. We are so proud to be involved with the official Terrible Towel.”

Pittsburgh is his favorite city so far, said Seddiqui, who is paying his own travel expenses. Some of the cities’ visitor bureaus have helped with overnight accommodations.

“It has an incredibly unique landscape,” he said. “I love how it is laid out and all the neighborhoods on the hills with staircases leading up to them. There are tunnels and bridges and rivers. And I especially love how everything is black and gold.”

Seddiqui began his quest on April 13 in Portland, Maine, where he made beer at New England’s first brewery. In Boston, Mass., he made loose tea on the Boston Tea Party Ships. In Providence, R.I., he crafted an ornament from glassblowing. In New York City, he had a tennis lesson at the US Open in Queens, cooked on an Italian cooking show in Staten Island, learned hip-hop dance in the Bronx, made graffiti art in Brooklyn and a cartoon with The New Yorker Magazine artist in Manhattan. In Wilmington, Del. he made macaroons at the famous Hotel Du Pont and currency at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.

In Louisville, Ky., he crafted a baseball bat.

He arrive in Indianapolis, Ind. on Tuesday to make a street sign. Along this journey, he’s been staying with friends as well as in hotels. He flew from Oregon to Maine and has been driving to cities if they are relatively close. He spends about a day and a half in each one.

“My family thinks I am nuts, but they also know how passionate I am about this project,” he said.

He’s divided the country in five regions. He has always been intrigued by studying maps, he said.

This is the second such undertaking for Seddiqui, who has a full time for an online college in employer relations.

Initially when he graduated from college, he had trouble finding a job. So in 2008 and 2009 over a 50-week period he decided to “open up his world and experience places he didn’t know existed.”

He called it “50 jobs in 50 states” where he got hands-on experience of America by finding a job in each state that shaped the area. In Pennsylvania he worked for the Amish in Lancaster helping to build furniture.

Seddiqui, who sleeps about three hours a night, said he will have to create a museum in his home for all the stuff he’s making. He also plans to write a book about his adventures.

His dream is to be a travel writer or to start a travel business. That is what inspired him to do the latest project and the 50 jobs project.

“The 50 jobs and now this venture of making something in each city is like my research and development for what I eventually want to do,” he said. “I have always been a curious person.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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