Syracuse is the only larger city in, well, Upstate, actually, which you cannot see a skyline from the Thruway. You get a little peak across Onondaga Lake near milepost 287, but you don't get too much because of the backdrop topography.
Buffalo, Rochester, Utica, Albany, and of course the fabulous Turning Stone Casino (yeah, right), are all clearly visible at some point or other. (Yes, you can see Rochester's, you just need to know where to look and have fairly decent weather.)
^ Oh yes, I have seen Rochester's skyline from the Thruway, twice, at it was at night time, both nights were clear though. You can see it as you get to the I-390 exit (Exit 46 on the Thruway).
Syracuse has a lot more stuff surrounding the Thruway and is a bit more urbanized than Rochester, but you still can't see the skyline from it. Only thing of recognition you may be able to see is the Carousel Mall.
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